A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
Kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas time is a long held tradition with its origins in old English folklore. Since mistletoe, an evergreen plant, conspicuously contrasts with seasonally defoliated trees, it was bestowed with the power to protect loved ones from evil. Leafy or Christmas mistletoes are actually parasitic higher plants in the genus Phoradendron. True mistletoes (Phoradendron species) are woody, parasitic plants that form shrubby mounds on branches or trunks of a myriad of tree hosts. Many individual plants can be found growing on branches of their host.