Thursday, December 15, 2005

Want Mistletoe? We got it

Mistletoe is being over-harvested in Great Britain. We didn't even know it was possible.

LONDON (Reuters) - An outbreak of opportunistic mistletoe rustling is threatening a Christmas kissing crisis, British environmental experts said Wednesday.

The Wildlife Trusts said over-harvesting of the plant that only grows in the wild and is mainly found on old apple trees meant it was becoming increasingly rare.

"Mistletoe is being taken in increasingly large quantities from orchards, hedgerows and ancient trees to be sold at markets to Christmas shoppers," said The Wildlife Trusts -- a partnership of 47 British wildlife organizations.

"There are cases of mistletoe rustling, and once the whole plant has been removed from its host tree it won't grow back."

There are dozens of trees infested with mistletoe, a parasitic plant, in our otherwise fair Oklahoma city and there are many homeowners who would be grateful for mistletoe rustlers to clean them out.

Apparently it's one of those British perceptions of value that Americans just don't get. Sure we like mistletoe around the holidays, but lack of it never stopped anyone from stealing a Christmas kiss.


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