Mistletoe parasite growing on rainforest tree

Mistletoe parasite growing on rainforest tree

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mistletoe. Growth of a species of mistletoe (family: Loranthaceae) on the branch of a rain- forest tree. Mistletoe is an evergreen, parasitic plant with greenish-yellow leaves. Its seeds are carried onto the host tree by birds and they germinate, penetrating the bark by a "sinker" which grows into the wood. In this way water and minerals are removed from the host, while the mistletoe produces its own carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Photographed in Andean cloudforest (at 2, 500 metres altitude) near Quito, Ecuador.

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Keywords: botany, christmas, ecuador, mistletoe, nature, parasite, parasitic, plant, plants, xmas

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