Photo of the week: Underneath the mistletoe

Department of Conservation —  24/12/2014

Our photo of the week shows New Zealand’s red mistletoe Peraxilla tetrapetala, one of nine mistletoe species native to New Zealand.

Red Mistletoe - Peraxilla tetrapetala. Photo: Andy | flickr | © All rights reserved.

Mistletoes are semi-parasitic plants that rely on a host tree or shrub for water and nutrients but, unlike their European and North American counterparts, New Zealand mistletoes don’t damage their hosts.

New Zealand mistletoes are, however, threatened (and declining in number).

So, even though it’s Christmas time, please resist from picking these special plants. New Zealand species take many years to replace lost branches.

Who needs something over a door in order to steal a smooch from their someone special anyway?!

Photo: Red Mistletoe – Peraxilla tetrapetala by A.M.Creative | flickr | © All rights reserved. Used with permission.