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Mistletoe is a flowering plant which has no roots in the ground but lives on trees or bushes receiving water and nutrients from its woody host plants.

The European mistletoe (Viscum album) has the largest range of potential hosts among the over 1,000 mistletoe species worldwide. Three subspecies can be found in Central Europe:

  • hardwood mistletoe (V. album ssp. album) on various deciduous trees such as apple, oak, elm, poplar, maple, lime, birch
  • pine mistletoe (V. album ssp. austriacum) on pine trees
  • fir mistletoe (V. album ssp. abietis) on fir trees

The subspecies of European mistletoe differ in some morphological properties but especially with regard to their pharmacological properties.

An apple tree stands on a slope and carries several mistletoe bushes.

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