Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Mistletoe is a parasitic plant found on trees and shrubs in the south western part of the United States. The plant derives all its nourishment (food and water) from the trees and shrubs the vine grows on. Plants die out during Illinois winters.

Plants bloom in summer and produce a white POISONOUS berry during the winter months...which is why the plant is often used during the holiday for decorations. Most firms will market the mistletoe with artificial berries to avoid any potential lawsuits.

Historically, mistletoe was thought to cause fertility. Swedish herbalists used the plant as a poison antidote.

Why is mistletoe used for kissing under? According to Nordic legends, an arrow made of mistletoe almost killed Balder, some Freyja (Goddess of Love and Beauty). Her grateful tears of joy turned into the mistletoe berries. She, then, promised to bestow a kiss on anyone who passed beneath the mistletoe.

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