Mistletoe – Did you know

it is a parasite that feeds off the host?  Sounds like something from Science Fiction. 

Nearly everyone knows about Mistletoe. The greenery hung from the top of doors. Anyone standing beneath the Christmas decoration is to be kissed.   Further, the people doing the kissing are supposed to each pluck one of the white berries. When the berries are gone….kissing is over. 

In my job I have the opportunity to learn new things, which I so enjoy. 

Mistletoe in southern Texas, within the Permian Basin, grow in clusters on elm or cedar trees.  This host tree was located in Sweetwater, Texas. 

  
Through my research on Google it seems the white berries are sticky. Birds eat the berries, fly off to another tree, excrete the seeds from the consumed berries. The seeds, now attached to the tree, embed themselves into branches.  As the seeds grow into the little bushes, the clusters feed off the host tree. 

Where, exactly, is the parent Mistletoe bush or tree?  I have no idea. According to Wikipedia, Miseltoe is native to the UK, Africa, and Spain. So….how did it make its way to Texas?  Surely the birds would have cleansed their digestive tracts long before reaching Texas. 

This Christmas time favorite can be very destructive to the elm and cedar trees.  Enough of a nuisance to have several articles written about removal of the parasitic plant. It seems this little bugger is difficult to control. It can take several years of cutting it away in an attempt to stop its growth. 

Mistletoe will be around for as long as we have birds. 

I have a light day tomorrow. Two trucks out of Minneapolis, Minnesota going to Chicago, Illinois. Joe will be doing the driving. I’m working on getting the slavedriver to stop early in the evening so I can get some crafty play in. So far….not so much luck. 

Tomorrow, I will be sharing with you the town of Sylvester, Texas. Now a ghost town. 

Leslie

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

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