Mistletoe (Viscum album) with berries

Mistletoe (Viscum album) with berries

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Caption: Common mistletoe (Viscum album) on a small Swedish whitebeam tree (Sorbus intermedia), Norfolk, UK in December. The mistletoe has retained its leaves (centre, green), and is carrying developing fruits ("berries"), which appear as white spheres. The red berries visible are fruits of the host tree. Mistletoe is a parasite; at the point of attachment it penetrates the host tissue and withdraws water and nutrients, although it retains its own photosynthetic ability. The flowers are inconspicuous and produced in spring; the berries do not fully ripen until late winter. Its seeds are dispersed by birds. Some species eat the berries and spread the seeds in their droppings; others wipe the sticky seed from their beak without ingesting it. Common hosts for mistletoe include apple trees (Malus), lime (Tilia) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna).

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Keywords: apple, berry, cratageus monogyna, hawthorn, lime, malus, mistletoe, parasitic plant, seed dispersal, sorbus intermedia, swedish whitebeam, tilia, viscum album

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