MistelBAw.jpgPhoto: Björn-Axel Beier.Grafiskt element

Mistletoe

Viscum album

In Sweden the mistletoe occurs mainly in the Mälaren region and in eastern Småland. Those who want to watch thrushes eating mistletoe berries should visit the island of Eldgarnsö in Lake Mälaren.

If you want to find the mistletoe in the Royal National City Park, the easiest way is to go the Bergian Garden when the trees are bare. In the parking lot there are always good examples with their striking green foliage against the bare trunks. In the summer it can be more difficult to distinguish, but at that time the gardens offer so much else to see.

The mistletoe is Sweden’s only tree-living semi-parasite and can reach a diameter of almost one metre. The female specimens often produce juicy berries which are much appreciated by birds. The mistle thrush, (Turdus viscivorus), is only found in the Royal National City Park when migrating. It is a specialist on mistletoe berries – hence its name. The seeds pass out with the bird’s droppings and, being sticky, fasten on thin twigs from which they can then sprout. The young plants then form suckers which take their nutrition from the tree. Since the mistletoe creates its own photosynthesis it is considered to be only a semi-parasite on its host trees.


 


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