Friday, July 16, 2010

plant find...

Maria the botanist was out today and I showed her a strange plant I had found recently on the south 20.  Looked to me like one kind of plant growing out of another and I was right.  Seems one of my wild Acacia shrubs has a parasitic mistletoe growing out of it.  Mistletoe is the common name for a group of hemi-parasitic plants in the order Santalales that grow attached to and within the branches of a tree or shrub.  I never knew that.  I thought they only sprouted at Christmas time over a doorway.  90,99,73,0,B

9 comments:

Ben in Texas said...

I think you should git rid of the mistletoe now, if left alone it will kill or seriously damage the host tree and just spread thanks to birds eating the berry s and pooping them out on another tree.

I "think" I had killed some with plan ole bleach .. You can also cut off the limb it is on, and burn it.. But you gonna have to keep an eye out for more of it, it is very invasive.

ezrablu said...

Interesting. When I was young I also thought it was what my father got when I did something wrong...just before I'd get a boot in the a$$ :o)

czardastx said...

So, did you get a kiss?

Ruby LoneStar said...

Welcome to Texas!

Chris Brown said...

lol slowly harvest it and sell field lab mistletoe

Bob from Athens said...

What Ben said, that stuff will take over if you don't keep it under control.

William Scarbrough said...

Mistletoe is not all bad news. It increases fruit and seed production in the branches that its harbored on. I would just let it alone let nature take care of it self.

Wretha said...

I got this from Wikipedia:


Mistletoe was often considered a pest that kills trees and devalues natural habitats, but was recently recognized as an ecological keystone species, an organism that has a disproportionately pervasive influence over its community.[7] A broad array of animals depend on mistletoe for food, consuming the leaves and young shoots, transferring pollen between plants, and dispersing the sticky seeds. The dense evergreen witches' brooms formed by the dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium species) of western North America also make excellent locations for roosting and nesting of the Northern Spotted Owls and the Marbled Murrelets. In Australia the Diamond Firetails and Painted Honeyeaters are recorded as nesting in different mistletoes. This behavior is probably far more widespread than currently recognized; more than 240 species of birds that nest in foliage in Australia have been recorded nesting in mistletoe, representing more than 75% of the resident avifauna.

A study of mistletoe in junipers concluded that more juniper berries sprout in stands where mistletoe is present, as the mistletoe attracts berry-eating birds which also eat juniper berries.[8] Such interactions lead to dramatic influences on diversity, as areas with greater mistletoe densities support higher diversities of animals. Thus, rather than being a pest, mistletoe can have a positive effect on biodiversity, providing high quality food and habitat for a broad range of animals in forests and woodlands worldwide.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe

It also has medicinal properties, it is said to stimulate the immune system, it's said to have anti-cancer properties as well, and other health benefits.

Many people where I live pull it out whenever they see it, they hate it, they go as far as to pull it out of trees that are not on their property... personally I find it to be a good thing.

Darin said...

Don't be killing the state floral emblem of Oklahoma! :)