Inventory, bunch : 0
This item was last sold on : 12/24/16
Mistletoe forms as a dense ball of foliage that usually occurs high in the tree tops where sunlight is plentiful. The intertwined branches form a misshapen mass up to a meter wide. The American and European Mistletoes have mossy-green leaves with either a tear drop or rounded oval shape, while the Dwarf Mistletoe has small golden needle-like leaves. The berries are round and white and known for their sticky secretions which help the seeds to cling to the branches of their hosts. Although the entire plant is poisonous, the leaves contain a higher concentration of toxins than the berries.
Mistletoe is available in the late fall and winter months.
Mistletoe is a POISONOUS parasitic evergreen that propagates itself by tapping through the bark of other trees and shrubs to absorb water and nutrients. There are three genera and 1300 species of Mistletoe each with varying degrees of toxicity. While some varieties are are lethal to humans, many are important food sources for birds during the winter months. The seeds are spread via bird droppings or when the ripening berries eventually explode into the air, flinging seeds as far as fifty feet. The variety usually seen around the holidays is Phoradendron flavescens, which happens to be the state flower of Oklahoma.
Mistletoe contains poisonous chemicals called phoratoxin, lectin and tyramine. They can cause blurred vision, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, weakness and drowsiness.
Mistletoe should not be consumed by humans and is best used as a holiday decoration. The use of Mistletoe for medicine is controversial, but it has been used to treat headaches, seizures and cancer.
Mistletoe has a rich history in the pagan holidays of ancient Greek, Druid, Celtic, and Nordic societies. Revered for its mid-winter bloom, Mistletoe was thought to symbolize fertility and the hope of coming spring. Kissing under the Mistletoe originated in the 1600’s when it was said that with each kiss a berry should be plucked from the bough until all were removed.
Fossilized evidence of Mistletoe pollen show it to be millions of years old. It is a descendant of sandalwood, where it once lived among the roots of host plants but later evolved into a tree-top dweller so as to maximize its exposure to the sunlight. American Mistletoe, Phoradendron flavescens is commonly found in deciduous trees in New Jersey and Florida and into the west. European Mistletoe, Viscum album, grows in California in a variety of host plants, especially fruit trees.
Someone spotted Mistletoe using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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Little Italy Mercato
Anthony MacielNear San Diego, California, United States
Maciel Family Farm
About 402 days ago, 12/17/16
Spotter's comments : Mistletoe spotted at Little Italy Mercato.