berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , social history , stupidity , toxicity

Mistletoe nonsense 2023 #1: Ideal Home far from ideal

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Quite a lot of nonsense written about mistletoe again this season, I never cease to be amazed by how much mis-information there is out there. Though as Roy Vickery, a  plant-lore expert at the Natural History Museum once said in one of his books some years ago; ‘more nonsense has been written about mistletoe than any other plant’ so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised. Much of it relates to toxicity, confused understanding of differing […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Doctor Who , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Other parasites , social history , toxicity

Mistletoe Meows

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It’s Mistletoe Kitten Time! Mistletoe Diary has been a little inactive this season, largely due to colds, coughs and similar delights, but I’m easing back into it now starting with the easy-win of cats and kittens – as they’re always popular online (as I understand it).  There is no immediately obvious mistletoe link, so I could just fill the page with some pictures of cute kitties with mistletoe, like these (left).  But I can’t leave […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , druids , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Religion , Science , social history , toxicity

Locating Lindow Man

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Whilst in Cheshire last weekend, on non-mistletoe business in Wilmslow, we took the opportunity to visit Lindow Moss, the peatbog where the bog body known as Lindow Man (and also, sometimes, as plain Pete Marsh) was discovered in 1984. The discovery of some mistletoe material in his gut, and some of the over-fanciful interpretations of that, has been discussed by me in the diary before – see 2009 and 2011 – and I thought it […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Mistletoe Day , Science , social history , Tenbury Wells

Mistletoe time, again – news and updates for 2023/24

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A slightly late start to the blog this year – but announcing all the usual stuff; the berries are looking good, whitening up already, mistletoe events are being organised, mistletoe studies are being planned and mistletoe commerce is underway. In events news there are the usual mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells – this year on Tuesday 21st and Tuesday  28th November. Details for buyers and sellers are at https://nickchampion.co.uk/auctions/holly-and-mistletoe/ or, if you just want to watch, […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Science

Mistletoe germination

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End of March – the end of the mistletoe season for us, but the middle of the germination season for mistletoe seeds. Why the end for us? Well we spend much of February and March each year working with mistletoe, especially in neglected sites, and supplying mistletoe seeds and advice to those who want them.  The arrival of April is often a welcome break as mistletoe has dominated our lives since October! But for mistletoe […]

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

Mistletoe seed and seedling monitoring

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A morning of mistletoe seed and seedling spotting around our garden – which already has (not surprisingly) multiple mistletoe plants, established over the last 20+ years.  There’s a mixture now of deliberate (man-made) and natural (bird-sown) plantings.  Many many more of the latter than you would normally expect as this garden has, when we used to trade mistletoe, been the storage space for much mistletoe cut from elsewhere, so has spawned many more new plants […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history , Tenbury Wells

Masses of mistletoe at the first auction of 2022

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At Tenbury Wells yesterday, for the first of the two mistletoe auctions this year. Masses of mistletoe there, though less holly than usual. I was also left with the impression there were fewer buyers and sellers than normal, but that’s difficult to really judge. Most of the mistletoe was looking very fine, lots of berries and not much with yellowy leaves.  But there were several lots, more than usual, with under-ripe berries – i.e. not […]

berries , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Wintertime is show time for mistletoe 

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Mid November: Mistletoe berries are whitening up nicely now – and with every host tree’s leaves now nearly all fallen any mistletoe is becoming very obvious , if you’re lucky enough* to have some! This late autumn phenomenon, of mistletoe suddenly ‘appearing’ within the host (even though it’s been there all year long, obscured by host leaves) is a key part of the magic of mistletoe. It is indeed a very wintery plant, only conspicuous […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Science

Mistletoe Season 2022/23

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It’s nearly that time again, mistletoe season. Berries are looking good, at least on the plants I’ve been examining, and, for those who want the usual sales info, there are two wholesale auctions at Tenbury Wells this season. On the 22nd and 29th November. Details of those here. The Tenbury Mistletoe Festival is also taking place. My activities this season will focus on management and propagation. Including continuing supplying mistletoe grow kits through the English […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Mistletoe in Britain – a review paper

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Almost the end of January, so it will soon be mistletoe flowering season and, of course, mistletoe seed germination season. That’s one of the many odd things about mistletoe – it flowers and germinates in late winter, the season when most plants are merely beginning to plan such energetic activities. If you’re interested in reading more about this and other odd mistletoe stuff there’s a new review, published just a month ago, in the journal […]