LONDON (Reuters) - An outbreak of opportunistic mistletoe rustling is
threatening a Christmas kissing crisis, British environmental experts
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."
The parasitic green plant with white berries has been associated with
fertility since the time of the ancient Druids and kissing under the
mistletoe has long been a Christmas party tradition.
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