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Mistletoe


by Richard Jones

It was a bit of a hectic week last week, as gastric flu spread through my family. I tried to get out into the field on Monday and Tuesday to do a bit of survey work.


MistletoeIt was a bit of a hectic week last week, as gastric flu spread through my family. I tried to get out into the field on Monday and Tuesday to do a bit of survey work. Both times I was called from my youngest daughter's school to collect her because she was not feeling well. Now the two-year old has got it, so I'm trundling him in his buggy through the Horniman Ornamental Gardens in Forest Hill. He sleeps, so I can try and work out how to put a tree trail together for the new gardens interpretation scheme. There are a large variety of native and exotic trees, most of which I recognize, but there are a couple of oddities I'm going to have to do some research on.

One of the most surprising finds is a large sprig of mistletoe growing on a broad-leaved lime tree in the middle of the gardens. I hardly ever see this curious semi-parasitic plant, it is decidedly scarce in London and the south-east. Although widespread in central and western England, there is a big hole in the distribution map around the capital. There is a very large specimen behind the BMW garage in Hayes and lots in Windsor Great Park so I'm well pleased with this new find, virtually on my own doorstep.



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Gardeners' World Web User 25/09/2007 at 08:48

I am sure it was Michael Parkinson who once said that one of his ambitions in life was to own a garden which had a tree with mistletoe on it. It is a comment which has always stuck with me even if I have mis-quoted him!

Gardeners' World Web User 25/09/2007 at 14:15

this is a good plant

Gardeners' World Web User 25/09/2007 at 16:56

I too have apple blossom, only one sprig on a crab apple, the tree is only 3 years old, so still very small. I live on a very exposed site in Marple, near Stockport, in Ches. Must be the dreaded global warming?

Gardeners' World Web User 25/09/2007 at 20:03

I was given some fresh berries from my friends mistletoe and rubbed them under the branches of a apple tree in the garden then forgot about it until the following year when I could see small green sprouts comimg out of the branches and wondered what they were, it dawned on me a while later that this was the mistletoe growing after a good 10 months or so. I now have three good healthy "growths" and hope we get some berries this year.

Gardeners' World Web User 31/10/2007 at 17:24

I was delighted to find mistletoe growing on the apple tree in my newly aquired garden 7 years ago. It has been lightly 'pruned' each year to provide sprigs for home, college and school but without berries. I was devastated last year to find a kind-hearted neighbour had 'helped out' in the garden by stripping the mistletoe off the tree (along with a climber rose and Christmas rose). Sadly there won't be home grown mistletoe decorations this Christmas. However there were signs this spring that the mistletoe is fighting back, it has produced a couple of small shoots which I hope will flourish and be joined by many more.

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