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 […]

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

Can mistletoe save the honeyeater?

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The Regent Honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, an Australian bird, was once so common that its call was heard everywhere. Today, following much habitat loss over several decades, plus recent bushfires, it is endangered, with just a few hundred left. Indeed it is so rare that young males can no longer learn their mating calls, there being insufficient older males for them to learn from.  No mating call = no mating. Which makes a bad situation even […]

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

Mistletoe Auction Time

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The first Mistletoe Auction of the year takes place tomorrow morning, which to many means the proper start of the mistletoe season. The auctions are run by Nick Champion and are held at at Burford House Garden Centre, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ.  Details on Nick’s website nickchampion.co.uk but shortcut for buyers is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/buyers_information_2021.pdf and for sellers (too late for tomorrow now but there’s another next week!) is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/sellers_information_2021.pdf. The berries are already nice and […]

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

It’ll be mistletoe time again soon

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With just a few days until October, we’re yet again at the start of the mistletoe season. So it is perhaps time for a quick review of how things are looking this time round: As is fairly usual these days, there’s a reasonable crop of berries forming, so it could be another good year for quality mistletoe. This seems to be the norm, and indeed there is research that suggests berry numbers per branch don’t, […]

berries , Blogroll , Gardening , Mistletoe , Other parasites

A tale of two mistletoes

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There’s a new mistletoe species here at Mistletoe Towers, all the way from Africa originally.  Though this particular set of seeds came from, er, Malvern.  It is Viscum minimum, related to our familiar Viscum album, but, as the name suggests, a much reduced plant.  Tiny actually. I haven’t ever grown it before, though have seen several specimens grown indoors.  For it isn’t an outdoor species, not here in Europe, as its hosts are tropical succulents. […]

berries , Current Affairs , druids , Food and Drink , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Mistletoe and Orchards on ITV today

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Plenty of mistletoe mentions on ITV this morning – all within the 2 hour show Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh (on ITV Hub here).  Helped along a bit by Sir Cliff ‘Mistletoe and Wine‘ Richard being the main guest. Christmas swag-making featured about 30 minutes in – with plenty of mistletoe incorporated into a very long decoration.  Some good mentions of how sticky the berries are, and their need for light when germinating, but […]

Biodiversity , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Other parasites

A back garden parasitic plant safari

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Parasites in lockdown – a round-up of the parasitic plants I’m growing in our garden this year, so far: Not just mistletoe, but also dodders (two species), broomrape (one species – another due soon) and yellow rattle. And an aspiration for Lousewort and a hope of Toothworts (two). Firstly mistletoe, obviously. There’s lots of that (I wonder why?!). These are young growths, about 4 or 5 years old, planted by Blackcaps on an already mistletoe-laden […]

berries , birds , Current Affairs , Gardening , maths , Mistletoe , Science

Mistletoe in May, and Maths (and pandemics)

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May Day! Summer will be here soon.  And mistletoe is doing fine, just keeping on growing.  My first picture here is, literally, mistletoe in May – a small mistletoe growth growing low on a May (Hawthorn) tree in full blossom.  Taken in late April actually – on the banks of the Severn near Framilode earlier this week.  Hawthorn/May is one of mistletoe’s favourite hosts, though the growths are often rather small and mis-formed compared to […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Spring – mistletoe has nothing to do but grow…  

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April, in lockdown, and the main mistletoe action season is over – berries ripened (Nov/Dec/Jan), seeds planted (Feb/March), flowers over (Feb/March), pollination done (Feb/March). From now until next winter mistletoe has nothing to do but grow.  For the seedlings it’s a bit more challenging – they still have to link into their new host’s vascular system, but for a mature mistletoe there really isn’t anything else to do now.  Just grow new shoots and new […]