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 […]

Biodiversity , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Science , social history , toxicity

The Journal of Ecology has a new, and long-planned, mistletoe paper

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There’s a new, multi-authored, mistletoe paper just published in Journal of Ecology, which has been years in the making! It’s part of the British Ecological Society’s long-running series ‘Biological Flora of the British Isles‘, in which every paper covers the biology and autecology of just one species.  In this case mistletoe, Viscum album.  You can read the promotional blog (How green is kissing under the mistletoe?) about it on the Journal website here, but don’t […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , medicine , Science , toxicity

Mistletoe and Markov

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How poisonous is mistletoe?  Every Christmas season this question is asked, and every season the accurate answer (most media doesn’t worry about that) is, “it depends…” It depends on which mistletoe you mean. In Britain and Europe the mistletoe used at Christmas is Viscum album which certainly contains some toxins – of which more in a moment.  In the US the mistletoe used at Christmas will be a species of Phoradendron, which also contains some […]