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.
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.
- 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.’