This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
Is there a person in these islands above the age of infancy who does not know the Mistleto by sight? Why, then, let it occupy space here? Because it is one of those very well-known things that we only partially know. What percentage of those who took advantage last Yule-tide of the mystic sanctions of the plant, and who consequently think they know it so well, have seen its flowers? or know that it has flowers? True, those of our British Mistleto are not very striking in point of size or showiness; but there are tropical species with flowers both large and brilliant.
In V. album the flowers are of two kinds, male and female, each (with rare exceptions) being borne on separate plants, so that cross-fertilization is imperative. They are both green, and consist of a four-lobed perianth, the male with four anthers attached to the perianth, such anthers opening by a large number of pores. The female flower has the perianth adhering to the ovary, to which the stigma is directly attached, there being no style. The ovary, as all know, develops into the globose white berry, containing the large seed with its viscid coat. These occur usually in twos or threes. The flowers may be found any time between March and May.
- Loranthaceae. -