Science behind mistletoe in Kentucky explained
FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s that time of the year when you might find yourself underneath the mistletoe. turns out, the special plant could be growing right in your own backyard.
Did you know what you are kissing under is actually called a Hemiparasite, meaning that it doesn’t solely rely on its host, the tree, for survival?
Most likely if you’ve been hiking in the forest, you’ve already walked underneath the mistletoe. All you have to do is look up.
“As our deciduous trees all drop their leaves, their leaves, the big green balls of mistletoe become extremely conspicuous during the winter months, and so people see it and become curious about it,” horticulture educator Jamie Dockery said. “The species we have in Kentucky, Phoradendron serotinum, there are hundreds of species of mistletoe in warmer parts of the world. We only have the one in this region.”
How does the mistletoe get up in the tree? it’s pretty simple: birds. they love to eat the berries from the mistletoe. They then carry those seeds from tree top to tree top.
Mistletoe hunters have found the kissing plant, in every county across Kentucky, except for Grant. Ralph Thompson, a mistletoe expert at Berea College, is offering a $100 reward, for anyone who can confirm mistletoe, in grant county.
Copyright 2022 WKYT. All rights reserved.