Mistletoe plant or Parasitic plant is a plant that grows on other trees, which can be found only on the branches of perennial plants. Mistletoe root is a haustoria type . This root can penetrate the bark into the conveyor tube to suck water and nutrients from the trees that live. Mistletoe is important to be used as herbal medicines and grown as ornamental plants.
Origin and Distribution
Mistletoe can be found all over the world, but is found in many countries in tropical countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Mistletoe found in Asia is in the family of Loranthaceae, Santhalaceae and Viscaceae.
In each country, the name of the mistletoe is often referred to as the perennial species found in the mistletoe, such as mango mistletoe and lemon mistletoe etc.
Botanical of Mistletoe plant/Parasitic plant
The botany of mistletoe varies according to species, both in the stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. Some species have jointed stems. Some species have many stems and branches, which are similar to general perennial plants. Some species look beautiful, including stems, leaves, flowers and fruits that can be grown as ornamental plants.
The botany of the mistletoe described below is the most common type in Southeast Asia.
The mistletoe root is a haustorium root that is attached to the stem or branch of other perennial plants. The mistletoe root grows and connects with the water and nutrient conveyors in the phloem and xylem of other perennials. This root will absorb water and nutrients that pass through the conveyors to nourish their own stem and leaf to grow.
The stem of the mistletoe is a climbing plants. The stem is small, about 50-100 cm long or more and many small branches.
Mistletoe is dicotyledons. Each leaf is a simple leaf type and leaf is opposite on the branch. Leaf has an oval, thick and dark green color. The base of leaf is round or narrow and ends of leaf is rounded, but some types are pointed. The leaf size is 3-5 cm wide and 5-7 cm long. The leaf is smooth and the top leaf is glossy.
The mistletoe flower is small, which grows as a bouquet at the apex. The flowers have beautiful yellow or red petals. Each flower mistletoe consists of stamens and pollen, which can pollinate in the same flower and cross pollination. Mistletoe flowers will continue to bloom during July-January. During the flowering period, the flowers are pollinated from birds that suck the nectar from pollen.
Fruit and seed
The mistletoe fruit has an oval shape. The inside of the fruit consists of texture and small seeds inserted. The seeds are orange-brown in color, small and light in weight. The seeds do not have a sheath, but the inside has a sticky mucus covering the seeds. The seeds are often attached to various birds that come to stick to the tree or come in contact with the bird’s excretion. As a result, some parasites are sweet and therefore can be a food for birds. When the seeds are excreted with the excretion of birds The seeds will stick to the bark of the tree branches and continue to grow on the bark of the perennial branches.
The seeds are often attached to various birds that stick on the tree or are attached to the bird’s excretion because the fruit of some mistletoe is sweet. Therefore is a food of birds.
When the seeds that are excreted with the bird’s excreta, the seeds will stick to the bark of the perennial branches and continue to grow on the bark of the perennial branches.
The type of mistletoe
Divided by chlorophyll
1. type that does not contain chlorophyll (holoparasites) is a parasite of perennials without photosynthesis and cannot produce nutrients themselves.
2. Type of chlorophyll (hemiparasites) is a type that is synthesized by light for the growth of stems and leaves, but will only connect to other trees to absorb water and nutrients from other perennials.
Divided by growth characteristics
1. Facultative hemiparasites are species that can grow without having to stick to other perennial plants throughout the life cycle.
2. Obligate hemiparasites are species that cannot grow on their own if they do not stick to other perennials, when the perennials that live to the parasite will die simultaneously.
Benefits of Mistletoe
1. a beautiful mistletoe with stems, leaves, flowers and fruit can be used to grow as an ornamental plant.
2. The leaves are dried. Use to brew as a tea to drink.
3. In some countries, the use of mistletoe stems to make amulets to help people appreciate and obey.
4. Used as a food source for wild animals, especially birds and squirrels.
Medicinal properties of Mistletoe
In tropical countries, it is an area that has mistletoe growing and spreading, and it is popular to use leaves and stems to make mistletoe into herbs in many ways.
Leaves and stems bring to boil drinking water or juice from the leaves.
– Used to treat symptoms and relieve cough.
– Used to treat diabetes and reduce high blood pressure
– Used to reduce blood sugar and reduce diabetes and prevent diabetes.
– Drinking boiled water from various parts has anti-aggressive properties and helps prevent cancer.
– Juice from the leaves used to treat jaundice.
– Used as a diuretic
– Used to treat stomach ulcers
– Use to drink to treat flu
– Extracts or boiled water, both leaves and stems, stimulate the production of T-lymphocyte, causing the body’s immunity to rise.
– Used to treat mental symptoms
– Used to treat pain on the body, joint pain, waist pain
– Postpartum women use boiled water from boiled leaves and stews to help heal wounds and give birth to the uterus.
– The leaves bring juice or boiled, can act as an antioxidant to help nourish cells, including cell degeneration and help the skin look bright.
– Bring the stems or leaves to apply to treat the wound.
– Bring the leaves to grind to use to treat skin diseases.
Mistletoe can only grow on the trunk or branches of perennials of dicotyledons. While other plants cannot grow, such as liliopsida plants.
Although mistletoe is a plant that does not require many people. Because it is a plant that must grow on other types of wood, but some mistletoe has leaves and flowers that are beautiful, including leaves, flowers and stems that look strange. Therefore making some species popular and growing on the trees in their own homes.
Planting mistletoe is done by collecting the ripe fruits of mistletoe. The mistletoe usually ripens during the months of March or April, By collecting fruits that are ripe and dried and wrapped in cloth for 1-2 months. After that, bring the fruits to bury on the bark of the desired tree. That mistletoe will sprout itself, but choose only unripe fruits because this fruits will not germinate.