Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rethinking Mistletoe

In researching parasitic plants for a poem I'm working on, I ran across a whole page of information on the mistletoe, which I did not realize was a type of stem parasite. 

The berries of the mistletoe attract birds, which then transfer them to new hosts either when they clean their beaks against another tree or shrub, or thru their feces.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe, or http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plnov99.htm for more juicy details about the species.

With this in mind, I am rethinking the idea of kissing under the mistletoe around Christmastime. Just doesn't seem as romantic anymore.

1 comment:

giulia said...

My dear Bernadette,

Your post has stirred some (non-poisonous) memories of wandering in an eastern French forest of a frosty evening, cutting heaps of mistletoe for a holiday party. A man (boy) of my dreams was keen to accompany me (I was so dumb that I didn't know why) & ooh-la-la (PG-13). I knew all about mistletoe's unfortunate ways--my mum a master gardener--but studiously ignored any subtext involved (it did occur to me, even at just-turned-18 years old).

The memory remains romantic (& hilarious). So images I use on (both) blogs aren't the only help to jump-start writing, it would seem. Seeing your title & post have helped. Now I'm on the lookout for an image that may magically erase (or ease, defuse) your traumatic discovery.

(Though your revelation is useful, I'm sure, for writing, for activities 'neath mistletoe & such, it must be addressed. We only have about 6 months to attend to it.:)

We will see pix of your garden as it progresses this season--or is that impossibly demanding & bossy?

xoSusan