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 […]

auctions , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history , Tenbury Wells

Badgers trading mistletoe in the 1860s

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Tenbury Wells may have the only specialist mistletoe market in Britain today but there were many others in the past. Almost every market town in the mistletoe-rich parts of Worcestershire and Herefordshire played a role at one time, particularly from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. The Victorian passion for the kissing custom combined with the new easy transport by railways led to a huge trade. To get a feel for the trade at that time it […]

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 […]