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Mistletoe - Amyema miquelii

mistletoe growing on eucalyptus gum tree in australia

Mistletoe Amyema miquelii IMG 8917 - Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that can only survive on another plant, and in this case its host is a eucalyptus / gum tree in outback Australia. The mistletoe, with its roots penetrating into the branches of the tree, eventually saps the life from its host, and when the tree dies, so too does the mistletoe. The distribution of mistletoe seeds is aided by small red and black birds. These attractive birds, with the scientific name of Dicaeum hirundinaceum and the easier to remember and obvious common name of 'mistletoe birds', give Mother Nature a helping hand by eating the plant's small fruits and eventually depositing the indigestible seeds on a branch where they will germinate and guarantee the host tree a premature death.

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