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Festive Mistletoe Grows Across Virginia

It’s been a holiday tradition for centuries, and nowadays couples are expected to kiss when standing under a bunch of mistletoe.

One species even grows in Virginia.

While it typically thrives along the coast, it was found a few years ago for the first time in Roanoke County.

Experts say now that the trees are bare, it’s easier to find.

“You can look for these kinds of dark green balls or dense green balls up in the canopy of the tree, and that’s usually a mistletoe clump,” Jordan Metzgar, curator of Virginia Tech Massey Herbarium said. “They like oaks, they like red maples, they like tupelo trees, they’ll grow in a lot of other things too.”

While known for holiday romance, the plant’s true characteristics are a little more ominous. Not only does it steal nutrients and water from trees, but Mistletoe can also be toxic for pets.

Source: WSLS