Science for Christmas: Mistletoe A Kiss of Death?

December 22, 2011 at 2:05 am Leave a comment

Mistletoe: A kiss of death?

Suspended sprigs of mistletoe have kindled and rekindled many a holiday romance over the years, but the parasitic plant can be the kiss of death for trees.
Most mistletoe species make their own nutrients via photosynthesis, but grow on trees where they suck out water and minerals essential to their hosts’ long-term survival. And once infected, a tree is stuck with mistletoe until death. The plant itself is spread by birds, which eat the seeds and poop them out on other tree limbs.

Entry filed under: Of Interest. Tags: , , .

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