28 Oct 2016

Critter of the Week: The NZ Mistletoe

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:40 pm on 28 October 2016

Our critter of the week this week, is not a critter but a plant. The Mistletoe.

DoC's endangered species ambassador, Nicola Toki talks to Jesse about this remarkable plant.

New Zealand has eight species of mistletoe and one presumed extinct species (last seen 1954).  The extinct species Trilepidia adamsii was a red mistletoe that was presumably lost to forest destruction, possums and over enthusiastic collectors. 

Five of the eight species are leafy mistletoes in the Loranthaceae family and we have three pygmy or leafless mistletoes (Korthalsella spp). 

DoC's endangered species ambassador, Nicola Toki talks about the New Zealand Mistletoe

"Each species are known by a host of maori names, incl pirita, roeroe, kohuorangi.  My favourite Maori name for mistletoe is pikirangi – which means climbing to the sky.  This is exactly what a mistletoe does after the sticky seed (usually deposited by a bird), finds a hold on a tree, sending down a special root to tap into the tree’s water and nutrient supply" - Nicola Toki

 

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