Signs of the Season #SWFL: Ho, Ho! The mistletoe!

Ho, ho! the mistletoe!
Growing on a tree…

There are spots in the Six Mile Cypress Slough where mistletoe cheerfully chokes its host – it’s a parasite, stealing vital nutrients from hosts like the laurel oak.

It’s kind if strange to think about mistletoe, so closely related to “I don’t know if it will snow…” thriving in a climate where it definitely will NOT snow. But here it is, in a cypress swamp of all places.

In the coming months, sticky berries will appear which are spread around by hungry birds. The berries stick where they land and a new plant is formed.