One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A leathery-leaved parasitic plant which grows on apple, oak, and other broadleaf trees and bears white glutinous berries in winter.
Several species in the family Viscaceae, in particular the Eurasian Viscum album and the North American Phoradendron flavescens
- ‘He eyed the mistletoe above her head and before she knew what was happening, Justin was kissing her passionately.’
- ‘The other well-known xylem tapping parasites are the mistletoes.’
- ‘Honeyeaters are the primary pollinators for native mistletoes and certain other nectar-producing plants.’
- ‘Since mistletoes have fruit during the winter, cultures have long associated them with fertility.’
- ‘Kissing under the mistletoe is a relatively recent custom, popularized in Victorian England.’
- ‘At the turn of the last century, botanists reported forests ablaze with the scarlet blooms of native mistletoes, but today few areas of New Zealand support profuse growth.’
- ‘The Druids would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing.’
- ‘Decorative plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are toxic to pets.’
- ‘I've already hung up the holly, bows, wreaths, and mistletoes around the house strategically.’
- ‘The correct procedure is that a man should pick a berry each time he kisses a girl under the mistletoe, and the kissing should stop when the last berry is gone.’
- ‘Unlike Spanish moss, mistletoe is a parasite that takes its food from the host tree.’
- ‘Kissing under the mistletoe is a remnant of the old fertility rites.’
- ‘For example, mistletoe grows on trees and supplements its nutrition by absorbing nutrients from the tree.’
- ‘Most dwarf mistletoes grow on conifers in the western United States.’
- ‘Unlike most plant parasites, the broom-forming dwarf mistletoes may considerably benefit a forest community by creating additional food resources and habitat for many animals.’
- ‘In Somerset and Herefordshire mistletoe grows on the apple trees from which cedar is produced.’
- ‘Once the festivities are over put the mistletoe berries in a plastic bag and keep in a cool place until February or March.’
- ‘So far it's been okay, I kiss Greg under the mistletoe when I get a chance.’
- ‘Somehow Nicky kept finding mistletoes all around the house, so he had an excuse to kiss me.’
- ‘The mistletoes that grow on the Ohau beeches can reach nine feet in both length and width and can virtually envelop a tree, but unlike their European and North American counterparts, they do not damage their hosts.’
Old English misteltān, from mistel ‘mistletoe’ (of Germanic origin, related to Dutch mistel and German Mistel) + tān ‘twig’.
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