Creature Feature: mistletoe

Mistletoe in Apulit Island Resort (AIR)

In Western cultures, it’s a popular Christmas tradition for a couple to kiss when they meet under mistletoe. But did you know that there are also species of mistletoe that can be found in Palawan?

The mistletoe is a plant whose life cycle involves a special interaction with birds. When a bird eats the fruit of the mistletoe, its seeds pass through its digestive system and then come out through the bird’s feces. The bird’s droppings may land on a tree branch, where the mistletoe then starts to grow. The roots from the mistletoe’s seed then penetrate the tissues of its host tree and suck out the nutrients from it. The mistletoe is a parasite that continuously steals the food that the host tree makes.

There are several species of mistletoe in the Philippines – some of them are endemic and can only be found on certain mountains.

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