Sunday, December 4, 2011

What do you know about Mistletoe?

I pretty much knew nuthin'... till I read this..

Mistletoe is especially interesting botanically because it is a partial parasite (a "hemiparasite"). As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree and actually sends out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients.

But mistletoe is also capable for growing on its own; like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis.
The mistletoe that is commonly used as a Christmas decoration (Phoradendron flavescens) is native to North America and grows as a parasite on trees from New Jersey to Florida. The other type of mistletoe, Viscum album, is of European origin. The European mistletoe is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky berries which are considered poisonous.
In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. 
Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. 
At Christmas time a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe, brightly trimmed with evergreens, ribbons, and ornaments cannot refuse to be kissed. Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and goodwill. If the girl remained unkissed, she cannot expect not to marry the following year. In some parts of England the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the twelfth night lest all the boys and girls who have kissed under it never marry. Whether we believe it or not, it always makes for fun and frolic at Christmas celebrations. Even if the pagan significance has been long forgotten, the custom of exchanging a kiss under the mistletoe can still be found in many European countries as well as in Canada.

I don't need a plant to give me a reason to want THIS kind of Kiss!

Tons more fun, unique, elegant, seasonal items to browse thru at!


kornkountrytreasures said...

I didn't know anything about mistletoe, either! Picture looks almost like a squirrels nest (ok, if ya squint!!). I'm learning stuff!! hehe!!

CurioCache said...

Learning's fun! (as long as it doesn't involve math, chemistry, geography, autos or computers..)

chateycathey said...

All I know about mistletoe is that if you're under it you're gonna get kissed. We have lots of it in our trees but I ain't going out side to stand under it. Seroiusly, I never knew the history of Mistletoe. Thanks for posting it so I can look smart when I relay it to others. LOL