Tag Archives: mistletoe

WARNING: holiday kisses are being threatened!

I love kisses and holiday romance, but not everyone likes mistletoe. Some commercial foresters consider the dwarf mistletoe as a disease that reduces the growth rates of commercially important conifer species, such as the ponderosa pine. Ecologists, though, point out that mistletoes are not a disease; instead, they are a native group of plants that have been around thousands of years.

Globally, 20 mistletoe species are endangered. Three kinds of butterflies in the United States are entirely dependent on mistletoes for their survival: the great purple hairstreak, the thicket hairstreak, and the Johnson’s hairstreak. Mistletoe is also an important nectar and pollen plant for honeybees and other native bees.

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