Did you know…
Mistletoe grows in the branches of trees – such as lime, poplar, hawthorn and, predominantly, cultivated apple. It never grows in the ground.
Mistletoe is easy to spot in the winter growing in leafless trees ©Getty
2. From the sun and trees
It is semi-parasitic. Like many plants, it produces its own food using photosynthesis, but it also extracts minerals and water from a host tree.
Mistletoe is semi-parasitic ©Getty
The plant is most abundant in the south and west Midlands and east Wales.
Mistletoe at sunset ©Getty
4. Deceptively dangerous
It contains a poisonous protein called phoratoxin – if consumed, it can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, diarrhoea, vomiting and seizures.
Sick with romantic – if ingested, mistletoe can cause sickness ©Getty
There are up to 1,500 species of mistletoe around the world. For many of us, the most familiar is European mistletoe (Viscum album) – we use this to decorate our homes at Christmas.
Viscous album is the most familiar mistletoe species to many of us ©Getty
Loving the mistletoe? Why not make your own mistletoe and holly block-print cards – the perfect Christmas gift.
Main image ©Getty