University of Florida

Mistletoe

Mistletoe has been used as a holiday decoration for centuries. One common custom is to hang a branch of mistletoe as a subtle challenge to kiss the unsuspecting person who stands beneath it. This soft woody plant with distinctive white berries is actually a parasite, feeding and taking nutrients from its host plant, mainly older oaks and other large trees. Luckily, this isn't much of a problem in healthy trees. By harvesting mistletoe, you combine a fun holiday decorating activity with keeping your trees healthy. Just be sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets—it is toxic when ingested.

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