Mistletoe Berries or Rugby Balls?

Fused mistletoe berries
Fused mistletoe berries

The new mistletoe planting season is here, and we’ve been out harvesting berries for planting projects, grow-kits and just to see how they’re looking this season. Effects of the recent wind and rain are obvious in many of the older mistletoe-laden orchards, with several trees down, complete with mistletoe. Will post some pics of those in due course…

Today I just wanted to post some pictures of aberrant berries. Mistletoe normally has such perfectly-formed spherical berries, each with a single seed, but sometimes the berries fuse in growth, creating monster berries, distorted laterally, and containing several seeds.

Fused mistletoe berries from another angle
Fused mistletoe berries from another angle

One of the plants I was looking at at the weekend had lots of these, perhaps indicating some physiological problem in ovary development, or maybe even genetic disposition, that causes merging (or perhaps splitting, it could happen both ways).

Despite the fusing you can still spot how many berries this should be – as the floral structure leaves a scar on the top of each berry. The big rugby-ball berries in these pictures have 3 scars – so they are three berries in one.


Commercial break – want to grow mistletoe?

EMShopGive the plant that grows kisses for Valentine’s Day!

Visit The English Mistletoe Shop for Grow-Kits, Grow-Kit Gift Cards, and mistletoe books etc

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