Why didn’t we notice this before?

People travelling on Harmony Way south of Harcourt in the last few months have been intrigued by what seems to be a new kind of mistletoe on roadside Red Gums.

Creeping Mistletoe on Red Gums, Harmony Way: it’s not new, just a bit more obvious now.

Although maybe more prolific than in previous years, the mistletoe isn’t new: it’s Muellerina eucalyptoides, or Creeping Mistletoe. Here’s the description from Ern Perkins’ Castlemaine Plant List online:

‘It is common in the Harcourt-Faraday area where it grows on Red Gums. It is abundant along the old Calder Highway in the vicinity of the vineyards.

‘Identification:

  • instead of a single point of attachment to the host, Creeping Mistletoe has roots which twine around the branches or trunk
  • unlike other mistletoes, it often is attached to the trunk.’

Ern adds: ‘Creeping Mistletoe has a wide range of hosts, including introduced trees, such as the Plane Trees in Collins Street and St Kilda Road. I have not seen it on anything but Red Gums locally.’

Creeping Mistletoe flower: the flowering season is just finishing for this intriguing plant.

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