Viscum album (Bot.)
Druides gui des (French)
Loranthaceae - mistletoe family
Mistletoe is a mysterious plant that we in South Limburg and Northern France on Canadian poplar, rowan, standard fruit trees, sometimes on an oak tree in southern France on a particular type of spruce grow. The mystery has to do with the meaning of Mistletoe in the Germanic, Celtic and Greek mythology was.
Mistletoe means heksentak, refers to the lime juice in the white sticky berries and Viscum album is the Latin name for white mucus.
Mistletoe is a parasite half bushy with narrow, yellow-green, leathery leaves that stand out especially during the winter months when the trees are bare.
The opposite leaves are narrow, yellow-green, slightly leathery and have a wedge-shaped base.
The flowering takes place in April / May Mistletoe is dioecious, meaning that there is a female and a male plant exists.
The male flowers are four-or six-digit bigger and bolder than the female. The female flowers are foursomes. female inflorescence
The fruits are nearly white, slightly translucent berries with a thin shell that two flat, oval seeds and very sticky juice envelop. Blackbirds, thrushes eat the berries but. The reason why mistletoe occur only in certain areas, it would have to do that on their trek thrushes like the high Canadian poplars alight and there dropping their feces after they ate berries. Mistletoe seeds are not digested by the bird's stomach and stick, wrapped in feces, grooves in the bark of trees. These droppings are the germinating seeds and fertilizer. From the germinating seed is developing a seed stalk that of the light directed into the branch. When he touches, creates a suction cup that attaches itself. From here there are a growing roots drilling through the bark of the tree is so penetrating and attach. Although, the tree which food (especially salts) to give the mistletoe, but he has little experience of. The literature on the mistletoe I came to the story that especially pear trees by mistletoe can go die.
In Swabian Alp (Germany), mistletoe was given to goats as food and therefore "Bocksfutter" or "Geisskrut" mentioned. Today he is under nature.
In his youth growing mistletoe, like many orchids and tree (crust) mosses slow. He has a successful growth requires a specific microclimate: fog, rain and morning dew in the summer.
The juice of the berries were formerly used for the manufacture of glue, glue sticks who was lowered to catch songbirds.
Mythology and folk use
Mistletoe is a mythical plant. The golden magic wand with which the Greek hero Aeneas gained access to the Underworld, would have been a mistletoe. In the Germanic Edda poem describes how the blind god the sun god Balder Hodur with a lance and has slain mistletoe.
For the Druids, the Celtic priests of the ancient Gauls and Brittanniërs, nothing was as holy as a mistletoe on an oak tree grew. He had with respect and in the sixth month (of the Celtic calendar) with a golden knife. Powder of these branches would promote female fertility. Also they believed that mistletoe would be a remedy for poisoning.
As you may know, the main green mistletoe for Christmas as the British and Canadian symbol of friendship, love, happiness and long life. The pillow under the mistletoe shrub is an old folk custom.
In France you give each other a New Year's Mistletoe "Au gui l'an neuf".
Mistletoe growing your own
This is not easy. When in South Limburg on a walk with a blown mistletoe berries can be found, you can try gently in a chicken to pack in a slot in the bark of an apple (pear) - poplar tree or stop. You can use multiple cores from different places to try. It could happen to you ever.