The New Student's Reference Work/Mistletoe

Mistletoe (mĭz′’l-tō) a parasitic green shrubs or herbs, which grow upon woody plants and absorb their sap by means of special sucking organs known as haustoria (which see). There are over 20 genera and 500 species, which are widely distributed but most abundant in the tropics. In portions of the south of England the parasite is very common. In winter its evergreen leaves stand out conspicuously from the bare branches of the trees. In the lore of British Druid and ancient German the mistletoe had prominent place. The mistletoe of Europe is Viscum album; while the common American mistletoe is Phoradendron flavescens, a small, shrubby, brittle form of yellowish color and with white berries, growing in bunches on deciduous trees of various kinds, found from New Jersey southward and westward. The mistletoes which grow in abundance upon various species of conifers, especially in the western mountain regions, are species of arceuthobium, which are greenish-yellow and brown, and with small scale-like leaves.