Christmas Mistletoe

I’ve still got a few photos of the native mistletoe that are perched on trees at our local public reserve at Black Gully. Happily they flower in December and a few of them reside at the edge of the big open grass area so no big hike is needed to access them. I took these photos on 22 December. Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand.

The flower buds are like bright cotton buds. If the birds trigger them right, they fly open (so I’ve read somewhere). Some creatures appear to rob them, one photo I took showed holes at the bases of some flowers.

Younger flower buds have an intriguing traffic light appearance.

Some of the ground below had a fair few hounds-tongue ferns growing.

The ground becomes liberally strewn with spent flowers!

If anyone’s interested in NZ mistletoe species, we have nine species but one is presumed extinct. There’s information about them via this pdf from Southland Community Nursery.

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2022/2023)

18 thoughts on “Christmas Mistletoe

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    1. Down in Down Under we seem to have hit the jackpot with Mistletoes. We’re the poor cousin with 9 species (1 extinct) compared to Australia – with their 97 species!

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  1. I didn’t know there is a native mistletoe in NZ. It’s very attractive. Does it have another name? Or a Māori name?

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    1. We have nine species Jane (one is extinct), which I mentioned at the bottom of the blog-post but you might easily have missed it. If you go back there, you’ll see there’s also a link to a pdf which provides the botanic name for each species.


      1. Oh, sorry, I did completely overlook your link which I’ve just read and found very informative. Your post has led me to reading about mistletoe in Australia and as well as discovering how little I know about it, I’m dispelling some notions I had which a really completely wrong. For one thing, I always thought it is an introduced plant but it seems that is incorrect. So thanks for the lead!

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  2. Interesting that you’re trying to preserve yours, while people here are seeking ways to control ours. I new there were several species of mistletoe, but these certainly differ from ours in appearance.

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