24 December 2021
This weekend we’re in Tidewater Virginia where the trees are bare but not empty. Many hold green balls of American mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum), a hemi-parasitic plant that extracts water and nutrients from tree branches while it also photosynthesizes.
At this time of year it sports sprays of white berries that are toxic to humans but good for birds.
While the birds eat the berries I marvel that mistletoe is common here. We don’t have it in western Pennsylvania (‘x’ = Pittsburgh).
At home we buy mistletoe in a store to carry on this Christmas tradition.
It’s above us in the backyard in the land of mistletoe. Perhaps that’s why Virginia is For Lovers.
(photos by Kate St. John and from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)