Once a year we specifically go looking from mistletoe. Because mistletoe offers the perfect excuse to kiss your crush with impunity. But there’s a lot more to say about this shrub.
Colours and shapes
Until recently, mistletoe (Viscum album) was classified in the Mistletoe family or Viscaceae, but this family has now been merged with the Sandalwood family. The round evergreen shrub can reach a diameter of half a metre, and likes to hang from the branches of the trees from which it draws its nutrients. Interesting to know: if you see mistletoe, you can be sure that there’s chalk in the soil.
Mistletoe has long been associated with witches. The reason for that is that mistletoe was hung from beams in cattle sheds in order to keep the livestock fertile and to protect it from witches. But it was also said that mistletoe was used as a magical herb by medicine women - who were often considered to be witches...
Mistletoe occurs in Europe, North-west Africa and West and Central Asia. You particular finds mistletoe in chalky regions. Mistletoe is also cultivated successfully nowadays.