Dendrophthoe vitellina is an attractive flowering plant
Mistletoes have a somewhat bad reputation as 'tree killers', but this is misleading. As it is in the best interests of the mistletoe to have a healthy host, it is not the object of this parasitic plant to kill its host tree. Due to land clearing to make way for agriculture, industry and residential development, fewer host trees are available, resulting in a higher per-tree distribution of mistletoes.
Amyema cambagei - Sheoak Mistletoe
This mistletoe is epiphytic on Sheoaks (Casuarina spp), especially the River Oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana), and its leaves are long and terete, mimicking those of its host.
It is a spreading to pendulous plant with crimson flowers 15 to 21mm long. There is more information on this species at PlantNET.
Flowers, fruit and leaves of the Sheoak Mistletoe
A close-up of the flowers of the Sheoak Mistletoe
Amyema quandang - Grey Mistletoe
Amyema quandang var. quandang is a pendulous epiphyte with a general greyish appearance as the leaves are covered with short whitish matted hairs.
Flowers are 16 to 20mm long, green beneath grey hairs, with red stamens and style, splitting into 5 free petals. It grows on Acacia species in drier woodland, and flowers from August to December. I photographed this one mid September west of Singleton in the Hunter Valley. There is more information at PlantNET.
Delicate flowers and grey foliage of Grey Mistletoe
Fleshy pulp surrounding mistletoe seed
Drooping mistletoes are coming into flower in open forests and roadside verges in the Hunter Valley now, and the very pretty rainforest species Amylotheca dictyophleba should also be bursting into bloom. I'll get out and about and post up more mistletoes shortly.
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Christmas is different things to different people. I hope everyone stays safe and has reason to smile - and I'd like to send a special cheerio to those who are lonely, unwell or low in spirit.
Seasons greetings from Gaye