Mystery Photo #2

Here’s a test of your natural history knowledge. Do you know what’s in the photo?

As with Mystery Photo #1, the idea is to show you a photograph and you take a few seconds to study it and think what it might be. Only then are you “allowed” to scroll down and discover the answer!

Here we go: any idea what this photo is showing? If you have come across it before, you probably know exactly what it is.

Mystery photo #2
Has a busload of cheerleaders lost their pom-poms? Let’s go a bit closer …
Mystery photo #2
Does this help? Let’s go even closer …
Mystery photo #2
I think you may have guessed by now. Answer coming up …
Mystery photo #2
Yes, it’s Mistletoe! (This was a sprig that had been blown off the tree in a gale)

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant found in many parts of the world, that grows on the branches of trees. Mistletoe has a unique relationship with its host tree, as it derives some of its nutrients and water from the tree while also photosynthesizing on its own.

Mistletoe seeds are dispersed by birds, which eat the berries and then excrete the seeds on the branches of trees. Once the seed germinates, it sends out a root-like structure called a haustorium, which penetrates the bark of the host tree and establishes a connection with the tree’s vascular system. The haustorium then grows into the tree and starts extracting water and nutrients from the host.

As mistletoe grows, it forms a dense, bushy structure that can range in size from a small cluster to a large, spreading mass. Mistletoe leaves are thick and leathery, with a waxy coating that helps them retain moisture. The plant produces small, white or yellowish flowers that are pollinated by insects, and later, it produces berries that are eaten by birds, completing the cycle.

Although mistletoe can harm its host tree by stealing nutrients and water, it plays an important ecological role by providing food and habitat for a variety of birds and insects. Additionally, it has been used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments and is a popular decorative plant during the holiday season.

Did you guess right? Do you have Mistletoe in your locality?


  1. I’ve never seen mistletoe “in the wild” so I had no idea! My guess was some sort of nests. We see bird and squirrel nests around here up high in many trees so that’s what this looked like to me. Heh. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

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