Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name

Genus: Viscum

Specie: V. album

Variety/Cultivar:

English Name:

 

Common Name

Mistletoe, Common Mistletoe, European Mistletoe

Botanical Family

Name in Latin: Santalaceae

Name in English: Sandalwood Family

The Plant

Origin: Europe, Western and Southern Asia. Latin meaning of albus is white.

Growth Habit: hemi-parasitic shrub, round growth, pairs of leaves along its stem and clusters of white berries.

Flower: tiny inconspicuous yellow, fruit is a white berry

Blooming Period:

Leaf: elongated ovate, evergreen

Usage:

Seasonal arrangements or done in sprigs, woven into wreaths , garlands , or swags.

Care and Handling

Lasting Quality: short life after cut

Amount of water:

Nutrition: mist

Special handling: keep cool as possible

Special feature/remarks:

berries are toxic to humans. Used medicinally for headaches, dizziness, energy loss, irritability , vertigo and others...

Mistletoe has had an important role in many of the ancient cultures and is often credited special properties and magic power. In Norse mythology, the God Baldur was killed by a poisoned mistletoe arrow.

Like so much of our Christmas tradition, mistletoe has a lot of connections with the ancient pagans and the Celts. Despite its toxicity, the plant was used by ancient herbalists for a variety of purposes and the name reportedly comes from the Celtic for "All heal", although this etymology is disputed.

Mistletoe has a reputation for being able to survive the harshest of conditions. In fact it can be difficult to get rid of and some gardeners consider it a pest. This ability to survive and be reborn made it an excellent symbol for the ancient pagan midwinter festivals.