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.
- ‘Most dwarf mistletoes grow on conifers in the western United States.’
- ‘The Druids would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Since mistletoes have fruit during the winter, cultures have long associated them with fertility.’
- ‘In Somerset and Herefordshire mistletoe grows on the apple trees from which cedar is produced.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Kissing under the mistletoe is a relatively recent custom, popularized in Victorian England.’
- ‘Decorative plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are toxic to pets.’
- ‘Somehow Nicky kept finding mistletoes all around the house, so he had an excuse to kiss me.’
- ‘He eyed the mistletoe above her head and before she knew what was happening, Justin was kissing her passionately.’
- ‘So far it's been okay, I kiss Greg under the mistletoe when I get a chance.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Honeyeaters are the primary pollinators for native mistletoes and certain other nectar-producing plants.’
- ‘The other well-known xylem tapping parasites are the mistletoes.’
- ‘Once the festivities are over put the mistletoe berries in a plastic bag and keep in a cool place until February or March.’
- ‘For example, mistletoe grows on trees and supplements its nutrition by absorbing nutrients from the tree.’
- ‘I've already hung up the holly, bows, wreaths, and mistletoes around the house strategically.’
- ‘Kissing under the mistletoe is a remnant of the old fertility rites.’
- ‘Unlike Spanish moss, mistletoe is a parasite that takes its food from the host tree.’
- ‘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.’
Old English misteltān, from mistel ‘mistletoe’ (of Germanic origin, related to Dutch mistel and German Mistel) + tān ‘twig’.
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