The other purpose of mistletoe

It’s a Christmas tradition to stand under a leaf of mistletoe, pick a berry and kiss your partner – but why else is mistletoe so important?

Mistletoe is a hemiparasite that lives alongside other plant organisms, living off the nutrients of its host plant.

Despite the bad reputation of parasites, mistletoe actually provides a lot of ecological benefits in the form of dispersing those same nutrients around the ecosystem in which it lives.


  • Melinda Cook – Masters Candidate at the University of Technology Sydney.

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