Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Mistletoe on oak

John Box – – is conducting a survey of the occurrence of oak (Viscum album) on oaks  (Quercus spp.) in Britain, repeating a survey he conducted late in the 1990s (see Watsonia 23: 237-56, 2000).  Then he found 11 oaks with mistletoe growing on them.  Of these six were pedunculate oak (Q. robur), one was the hybrid between pedunculate and sessile (Q. petraea), and the other four were on species introduced from North America: three on scarlet oak (Q. coccinea) and one on red oak (Q. rubra).  So far an additional five locations have been found.

Because people have offered to pay for information on the locations of mistletoe growing on oak (thanks to Pliny the Elder’s account of Druids gathering such plants in Gaul), exact locations will not be included in John’s report.

Update:  John Box’s  research has been published as ‘Oaks (Quercus spp.) parasitised  by mistletoe Viscum album (Santalaceae) in Britain’, in British & Irish Botany  1: 39-49, 2019, which can be read free of charge on-line.

Updated 27 July 2022.

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