Botany under the Mistletoe

Twisters, spitters, and other flowery thoughts for romantic moments

By Susan Milius, 15:47 PM April 15, 2008

A holiday merrymaker loitering under the mistletoe may not be thinking much about parasitic plants. That's a loss, because the world's mistletologists are making wondrous findings about the more than 1,300 species they study.

Some of the plants have flowers with trick openings. Some shoot their seeds farther than most watermelon spitters can spout. Some mistletoes grow as parasites on other parasitic mistletoes. And some give North Americans and Australians yet another way to misunderstand ea...

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