Under the Mistletoe

Mistletoe in the trees (c) Duncan Hutt

Mistletoe in the trees (c) Duncan Hutt

Mistletoe (c) Duncan Hutt

Mistletoe (c) Duncan Hutt

One of the distinctive features of a winter walk in Normandy is the scatter of tall trees bearing green clumps of mistletoe.  This parasitic plant does produce some of its own food with its green fleshy leaves but gets minerals and water via its host plant.  The white berries have extremely sticky flesh which helps in the process of seed spreading by birds such as the mistle thrush.

Polypody frond (c) Duncan Hutt

Polypody frond (c) Duncan Hutt

Elsewhere the narrow lanes that criss-cross the countryside provide excellent walking (except where the mud is deep or the lane is flooded) and also provide shelter.  Here ferns cling to the banks or the fringing trees and other plants such as pennywort spread along steep lane sides.  In some places the track is covered in empty hazel nuts or the remains of acorns; small holes and heaps of soil provide evidence of small mammals that must feast on this resource.

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About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Ferns, Flowering Plants, France and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Under the Mistletoe

  1. Too much mistletoe eventually kills the host trees.

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