No Christmas decorations can be complete without a sprig of mistletoe – an evergreen plant which many believe promises a kiss to those who stand beneath it. But did you know that here in the tropics, we have a native mistletoe too? The Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) is a parasitic, woody shrub that can grow up to 2 m. A tropical mistletoe from the family Loranthaceae, it bears attractive pink flowers and is commonly found growing on trees. While the Malayan Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, it nonetheless serves important ecological functions such as being an important caterpillar host plant for the Painted Jezebel Butterfly (Delias hyparete metarete) and providing a food source for birds.
Learn more about the Malayan Mistletoe here.
(Photo credit: Teo Siyang)
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