Thursday, January 1, 2015

Western Australia Christmas tree

Image by O. Roberts from Atlas of Living Australia

In the northern latitudes, standing under this tree is far from the image we have of welcoming in the New Year by kissing under the mistletoe. Those from Celtic and northern European heritage may deck doorways with a sprig of viscum album, a different type of mistletoe, in remembrance of an ancient Norse myth explained here in the Sun.

The Western Australian Christmas tree is something else again. Orange-yellow in colour, the tree blooms at this season. A kind of mistletoe, this plant is a parasite that derives its nourishment from the roots of other trees.

Though mistletoe can be toxic when ingested by humans and pets, it has long been revered for its healing properties.

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