Viscum

Although some may only recognize mistletoe as a simple holiday decoration, it has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. This exceptionally unique plant stands out because of its versatile and resilient growing behaviors. Mistletoe is a hemiparasitic plant that does not grow in the soil but off the branches of trees. It produces white berries with a very sticky center called viscin surrounding a single seed. The stickiness of the viscin allows the seed to be redeposited to a suitable part of a tree and penetrate its modified root into the bark of the host tree to draw water and nutrients. It takes about 5 years for the mistletoe plant to flower, which it does so in the fall. Pollinated flowers produce the berries that ripen in the winter. The stems and leaves stay green all year long due to the plants ability to store its own chlorophyll. A mature plant often grows into a thick mass of stems and leaves that often goes unnoticed until the tree starts to lose its leaves.