Viscum album

Heide-Jørgensen H S, 2015.

The European mistletoe, Viscum album L. is a fascinating parasitic plant and a pleasure to follow year round if one is so lucky to have it growing just outside the window. The bifurcate construction of the shoot system with two opposite leathery, evergreen leaves per internode gives V. album a very characteristic appearance. When during winter the parasite moreover lightens up with white berries on a leaf-less host it is understandable V. album has appealed to people’s fantasy and lead to myths and superstition. V. album is one af the plant species that most often has been dealt with in scientific and popular science literature, hence this article may seem superfluous but it communicates both new knowledge and is so richly illustrated that it fully justifies its publication. - The article is primarily aimed at the informed public interested in botany, but it includes references and a few paragraphs which may interest the professional reader. I am grateful to Dr. Job Kuijt for valuable comments on the article before publication.

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See also the article Danish and other Nordic Parasitic Plants.

After the release of this article it was stated the tree hosting a V. album shown in Fig. 16 is a new planting and the mistletoe is not a descendant of the old wild mistletoe and therefore not protected.