Life in Poland

Jemioła: Mistletoe

12222009(001)I think we all know the Christmas tradition of hanging a sprig of mistletoe and standing under it all puckered up waiting for a stray kiss to come your way. No? Just me? I loved this tradition when I was a child as we hung a sprig of plastic mistletoe in the doorway. Plastic mistletoe? I know. Kinda kills the romance.

This year we have a real sprig of mistletoe hanging at home. Well, outside our home ‘cause European mistletoe is poisonous. I taught Lizzie the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe and she decided that we have to do “party kisses” as she calls them. That means you kiss on the cheeks not once, not twice, but three times as is the tradition here in Poland. Lizzie was so pleased to explain to her father how it works and to kiss him three times.

Mistletoe grows as a kind of parasite in other trees. It takes nutrients from the tree but also produces green leaves that can get energy through photosynthesis. That’s as much as I learned from the web before I got bored 😉 I remember when I first saw mistletoe growing in trees here in Poland. I had to ask somebody what it was because I had no idea.

Christmas 2009 012mistletoe in the trees behind my house

Before Christmas you can buy a sprig or two on practically any street corner from some older ladies who have collected it and tied it with a ribbon or if you are brave enough you can climb into a tree and grab some for yourself.

Christmas 2009 094same trees as above, better weather

Christmas 2009 096in an apple tree behind our barn

Christmas 2009 093trees in our village

Hope your holiday has been full of cheer and party kisses!

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Hello, can you please tell me what kind of trees are in the pictures with a lot of mistletoe? Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Hello, those particular trees in the picture are poplar, however mistletoe grows just about everywhere. We have a small orchard, and mistletoe seems to prefer our apple trees the best. Greetings from Poland 🙂

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