SU0719 : Mistletoe, All Saints Church

taken 12 years ago, near to Martin, Hampshire, England

Mistletoe, All Saints Church
Mistletoe, All Saints Church
This evergreen lives as a semi-parasite high in the branches of broad-leaved trees in the southern half of Britain. It draws root-sap from its host tree, causing no real harm, and gets carbon dioxide from the air through its own leaves.

Its soft, white, sticky berries are often rubbed on bark and into crevices by birds. The single, round seed sprouts, invading the tree of nourishment. A green shoot develops, puts out a pair of slender, pale green leaves and eventually becomes woody. Branches divide repeatedly, making bushes that can grow three feet across, with fife-spans of many years. Each mistletoe pant is either male or female. The tiny, yellow-green, wind-pollinated flowers, which open on the joints in March, have four sepals, four petals and either four minute anthers or a hidden ovary. The juicy white berries ripen in the following winter, attracting mistle thrushes and other birds.

Mistletoe growing on oak denoted a sacred tree to the Druids, and the mistletoe was carefully cut down with a golden knife in a magic ritual. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe may be linked with a fertility rite, although it may be connected with the old custom of hanging mistletoe in a porch to denote peace and hospitality. A sprig in a cradle warded off fairies, and a sprig worn under the hat gave protection against witch-craft.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Maigheach-gheal and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Village, Rural settlement Religious sites Place: Martin other tags: Churchyard Mistletoe Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Saints [72] · Saints Church [16] · Mistletoe [2] Other Photos: · Mistletoe, All Saints Church Title Clusters: · Mistletoe, All Saints Church [2] ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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SU0719, 86 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Maigheach-gheal   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 10 February, 2012   (more nearby)
Friday, 10 February, 2012
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 0705 1955 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:58.5192N 1:54.0575W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 0705 1955
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Supplemental image
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