GARDENING: Romantic vacation ornament is definitely toxic, parasitic

By Jeanette Castanon

When you consider mistletoe you consider kissing underneath it. However you don’t take into consideration the truth that mistletoe is a toxic parasitic plant. A lot much less glamorous than the vacation ornament with romance that it’s related to.

Mistletoe is unfold on bushes via chook poop, once you break down the identify it comes from two Anglo Saxon phrases ‘Mistel’ (that means dung) and ‘tan’ (that means stick). That means Mistletoe straight interprets to poop stick.

This can be a far stretch from the vacation romance that all of us consider at the moment it actually makes you query how this kissing underneath the mistletoe custom started. The customized comes from England, it was initially practiced {that a} berry can be picked permitting you to kiss somebody till all of the berries had been gone then there can be no extra kissing.

Not solely is mistletoe simply chook poop on a stick, it is usually a hemiparasite that means it can’t survive and not using a residing host. It makes use of the water transport system of its host to outlive and develop. And though it’s transported via chook feces after they ingest it, mistletoe has harmful cytotoxins which can be dangerous to human cells. If ingested it may possibly result in abdomen points and a gradual heartbeat so, be certain that to contact poison management if anybody or any pets by chance ingest this vacation décor.

Though you get to kiss underneath the mistletoe historically chances are you’ll suppose twice this vacation season when stealing a kiss this yr. Completely satisfied holidays!

For extra data, name the AgriLife workplace at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, e mail [email protected] or go to aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.

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