If you cast your eyes upwards in Foxes Lair in February, you may see lovely red mistletoe flowers.
Ah mistletoe, the flower of love dedicated to the goddess Athena and placed above doors at Christmas where people who meet must kiss. If you have a hankering for osculation, arrange to meet the intended person in Foxes Lair.
Now that you are fired up I mention that Mistletoe is a stem hemiparasite that rarely kills its host, and the name literally means ‘dung-on-a-twig’. The mistletoe bird, which has a very short digestive system, eats the berries and deposits droppings containing seed on host branches. A germinating seedling produces a connection like a vegetative placenta (haustorium), which enables it to tap into the host’s sap.
Dodder laurel is another stem parasite, but is a holoparasite.
This fabulous blog shows that mistletoes are an integral part of the bush. Their fruit is food for several birds and animals, They do not necessarily kill their host, and are sensitive to fire.