Mistletoe germination

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 this is the start of new life.  It really is the middle of the growing season for the seeds, germinating freely now. This is a good time to go out and spot them.  If you can find them!  Mistletoe seedlings are very very small, and stay small for the first few years, so if you do plant some it’s well worth labelling the branch and also taking pictures, to remind yourself of where they are.

The mistletoe paper I co-authored last year for Journal of Ecology, published online in the autumn, has just been published formally in the print version, for the March edition. The germination process is featured as the ‘cover story’ for that – you can read all about it, and see how small the seedlings are in the first year, here:

Cover stories (111:03): The mysterious process of Mistletoe germination