Oat Hill Mine Trail

Cypress Mistletoe (Phoradendron bolleanum) only grows on cypress, juniper and fir trees. It gets its mineral and water needs, and some of its energy needs, from the host tree using a haustorium (modified root) which grows into the stems of the host. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow. The fruit is a berry, white, yellow, orange, or red when mature, containing several seeds embedded in very sticky juice. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the fruit and remove the sticky seeds from their bills by wiping them on tree branches where they can germinate. Leafy mistletoes seldom kill but they cause stress. The genus name Phoradendron is derived from the Greek for "tree thief".