Mistletoe growing on an apple tree

Mistletoe growing on an apple tree

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mistletoe. View of an apple tree with a 15-year growth of mistletoe, Viscum album, growing on its trunk. Mistletoe (hanging downwards, lower frame) is a semi-parasitic plant. It takes water and minerals from its apple tree host but it makes its own energy from the sun by photosynthesis. Its seeds are contained within white berries produced in the autumn and winter (not seen here). Birds eating the berries carry the seeds to new apple trees or other tree species. The bark is penetrated by a "sinker" growing from the seed which taps into the vascular system (xylem) of the host, removing the water and minerals it needs.

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Keywords: apple, apple tree, botany, christmas, mistletoe, mistletoe growing, nature, parasite, parasitic, plant, plant parasite, plants, tree, type, viscum album, xmas

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