The Monthly Species: December

The Monthly Species

Hello! So this is my penultimate post of the year, it’s been a crazy and fantastic year for ThatBiologist but I shall save that for my business meeting post. Today I’m going with everyone’s favorite parasite as my final species of the month. It’s European Mistletoe!

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Santalales
Family: Santalaceae(Viscaceae)
Genus: Viscum
Species: V. album

Size: Mistletoe grows in a shrub high up in trees. It has stems that are approximately 30-100cm with dichotomous branches with opposite leaves!

Diet: Mistletoe is a hemiparasite. This means it grows on trees and uses the trees for water and nutrients. However being a plant it does photosynthesise producing sugars for the plant to use. It is most commonly found on broad-leaved trees such as apple, lime, hawthorn and poplar.

Uses: Mistletoe has been used as the base flavor for a liqueur. It has also been used as an alternative medicine!

The Coolest Thing Ever About This Species:

There are lots of myths, legends and traditions surrounding Mistletoe. The most common tradition is that you must kiss if under some mistletoe at Christmas time.

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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