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American Mistletoe

Phoradendron serotinum serotinum


Evergreen shrub with greenish branches, semiparasitic on tree limbs; leaves opposite, simple, oblong, leathery; flowers inconspicuous; fruit a white berry.


Native to the United States and Mexico. Forest or natural areas, weedy in disturbed areas, a parasitic plant in deciduous trees. This one was growing on white oak in a southern deciduous forest in Edgefield County, SC.


Its common names include American mistletoe, eastern mistletoe, hairy mistletoe, oak mistletoe, Pacific mistletoe, or western mistletoe. The berries are poisonous if ingested. Amines in the plant cause stomach and intestinal irritation with diarrhea, lowered blood pressure, and slow pulse. Toxic only if large quantities are eaten.

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South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Apr 7, 2013
Submitted on Apr 7, 2013

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