Welcome to the first of our Look out for ...... species surveys. With autumn drawing in and dare I say it......Christmas approaching, we felt that this traditionally festive plant deserves recording.
As you can see from the map, we currently have very few records of Mistletoe within the county in our database and haven't had any records submitted to the website yet.
It would be wonderful if we could re-do the map after this survey to show what a difference an increase in recording effort can make to our knowledge of where this species can be found across the county.
Autumn and winter are the best times of year to spot this parasitic plant. When leaves of deciduous trees have fallen and it's easier to spot, usually high up in the tree. When ripe, the white sticky berries are very distinctive.
Mistletoe has male and female flowers on different plants so the presence of berries would confirm that it's a female plant. You can let us know if berries are present in the comments section of the recording form below.
It would be helpful if you could also identify which tree species it was growing on. The commonest hosts are apple, lime, hawthorn and hybrid black poplars.
Oaks have always been considered to be a rare host for mistletoe in Britain. A study carried out by John Box from 1996 to 1998 established that there were only 11 confirmed records in Britain at that time, none of which were in Northamptonshire. Please feel free to download and read this published paper. John Box would now like to update those records. Could you be the first to report Mistletoe growing on oak in Northamptonshire?
Don't forget to add a photo if you can, so that your record can be confirmed, especially if the plant is growing on oak.
If you would like some more information about this parasitic plant and how to identify it please see the Wildlife Trust BCN information page.
For a UK distribution map of Mistletoe have a look at the NBN Atlas.
Please provide as much information as possible about the location of the plant and remember that we are specifically looking for records that fall within the Northamptonshire county boundary.
If you would like to see all the records that have been submitted to our website, including your own, please create an account.