From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
December 1995 Issue

A Winter Surprise

Publish Date

Dec 02, 1995

Revised Date

Oct 20, 2010

When winter gray has settled across the southern Ozarks, you can still find a bit of green in the landscape, if you know where to look.

Mistletoe grows naturally in southern Missouri. Look for it in river valleys, growing on sycamore, elm, river birch and other trees.

Mistletoe is semi-parasitic. Its host provides water and some nutrients, but mistletoe leaves contain chlorophyll and manufacture a share of its own food.

Mistletoe's white berries are poisonous to humans and many animals, but like poison ivy, birds spread the seeds. When the berries are ripe, birds eat them, then wipe the sticky pulp from their beaks on branches. Often the seed is left with the pulp. Droppings are another way the seeds are spread.

Mistletoe is a slow grower; it may take several years before it can be seen from the ground. And mistletoe is not as common as it once was.

In late December, though, during the holidays, mistletoe is found decorating homes throughout Missouri

Also in this issue

We Gathered to Study Nature

The Webster Groves Nature Study Society is 75 years old.

Aunt Margaret

Passenger pigeons disappeared when Ozarks pioneer Aunt Margaret was middle aged.

Making Sense Out of Hunting

Hunting is woodsmoke and fall leaves and distant hounds and birds exploding under your feet.

Perfect Light

Jim Rathert says would-be wildlife photographers should have a keen interest in nature.

Conservation Goes Underground

Caves have unique rock formations, fragile species of wildlife and cool, clear, flowing waters.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Kathy Love
Assistant Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Director - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Composition - Kevin Binkley
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Paul Childress
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Staff Writer - Charlotte Overby
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer