Many unpack an artificial mistletoe cluster each year however, many don’t know much about it. Here’s a few interesting facts about this lovely tradition!
1) The word Mistletoe is a mangled English interpretation of Mistle and Tang, likely taken from the German words meaning Branch dung. The plants are spread by bird droppings and live on branches.
2) Mistletoe grows similarly to some orchids. It grows in the branches of trees and shrubs taking in nutrients from its host plant as well as the air and rain. It’s roots do not touch the ground!
3) Berries are poisonous! It’s a good reason why it’s far more common to see fake berries on mistletoe sprigs.
4) No one really knows the origin of the kissing tradition. The Internet is full of ideas though. Pick one and you have a shot of being at least partially correct!
5) In South Africa, Mistletoe berries were crushed and used as an adhesive. The taste would lure birds to a trap and they would get stuck. (No idea if the birds were pests or dinner.)