Evergreen parasitic plant, widespread in most of the temperate areas of the globe. It has a short and very branched stem, an intense green color; the habit is roundish, with dimensions between 20 and 50 cm. These shrubs grow as suckers, insinuating the base of the trunk under the bark of the trees, and feeding on the sap of the host plant; in March-April they produce small axillary inflorescences, consisting of yellowish-white flowers; the female plants in autumn also produce small round, sticky, white-colored fruits, with a gelatinous consistency, containing a single seed.
the mistletoe spreads thanks to the birds, which feed on small berries and then expel the seeds in the air with the excrements, in this way the seeds end up on the branches of the trees, where they will develop; the mistletoe preferably grows on pine trees, on apple trees, on hawthorn. on the oaks, on the poplars.
The ancients believed that the mistletoe had magical powers, perhaps because of the particular way in which it develops, or perhaps because it is often found on oaks, trees considered sacred for the Gallic druids; they are in fact the Gallic Druids who handed down to us the customs concerning the mistletoe; in ancient gallia berries were used in folk medicine, and the whole plant was widely used in magic rites, and was used as a wish for the new year.
At Christmas time it is used for decorations on doors, as a symbol of joy, fertility, and goodwill; in fact, many ancient peoples used mistletoe as a cure for various diseases, including infertility. Even today, mistletoe extracts are used in herbal medicine, to promote healing from many diseases.
For more information on the meaning of the mistletoe in the decorations, we invite you to consult the page dedicated to it in our section Flower language.