berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe Auction#1 2019 – lively bidding for lovely mistletoe

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A good turn out of both people and mistletoe lots for today’s mistletoe auction at Tenbury Wells.  Mistletoe looking good, lots of berries, again, though perhaps not quite as plump as some previous years. A few lots had yellower leaves – which won’t fetch as good a price as the greener stuff. But there were masses of nice green stuff too. Some lively bidding for lovely mistletoe! Only two auctions this year – the second […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , tropical mistletoe

Not a mistletoe#1: not even a parasite

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(the first of some blogs about mistletoe-themed plants) The distinctive geometric branching of Viscum album, the classic mistletoe of legend, is one of its most distinguishing features. Each branch bifurcates once a year, creating an intricate pattern. Not all mistletoes have this property – for example the Phoradendron species used at Christmas in the US don’t – they look really quite ordinary, not like the European plant at all. But a few other plants do […]

berries , Biodiversity , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Other parasites , Science

Growing your own, for the common good, in NZ

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My recent post about the new mistletoe-eating bird in Borneo reminded me of several other exotic (to us in Britain) mistletoe stories. One particular story from last year came to mind – a project in New Zealand where local residents were being given mistletoe seeds in an effort to re-establish local mistletoe species. The project, based in Christchurch, involved the collection of seeds by local ecologists and then the doling out of 20 seeds each […]

berries , Mistletoe , Orchard

Whitening up nicely

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Some pictures of mistletoe in Gloucestershire Orchard Trust‘s orchards at Longney, near Gloucester, taken this afternoon. The berries, as you can see, are beginning to whiten up now – still very opaque and with a hint of green, but it won’t be long now until we get the full white berry effect. Most pics are from the apple trees, some still bearing apples, but the last few are of mistletoe in the riverside poplar on […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , tropical mistletoe

The Spectacled Flowerpecker – a new bird that likes mistletoe

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Ten years ago, deep in the Borneo rainforest, a new species of bird was spotted feeding on berries from one of the local mistletoe species.  Small, grey but quite pretty it was given the name Spectacled Flowerpecker – but not, at the time, a formal scientific name because that needs formal examination and description – which means a bird in the hand, not in the bush. The preliminary announcements about it in 2010 hailed it […]