This is the common Mistletoe hung at Christmastime. The genus name derives from the Greek phor a thief, and dendron tree, and refers to their getting at least some nourishment from the trees on which they grow. The fruits are covered with a sticky substance poisonous to man, but relished by such birds as cedar waxwings and bluebirds. The birds spread the seeds through their droppings and by wiping their beaks on branches, where a new plant may become established. The small, northern Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum), has short yellow-green stems 1 (2.5 cm) long, with leaves reduced to thin brown scales. This plant occurs only on evergreens, especially spruce, and is found in northern bogs south to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and west to Michigan.
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