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Oh, No, the Mistletoe—A Shortage, Say it's Not So

Grown mostly in the South, crops have been damaged due to drought conditions but apparently, Laguna Niguel businesses have plenty.

Oh, No, the Mistletoe—A Shortage, Say it's Not So

What's the holiday season without a bunch of mistletoe? Luckily, Laguna Niguel residents won't have to find out.

However, the "kissing plant" is in short supply due to a drought in the southern part of the United States, which may mean a lot of people will be going without this year.

Locally, you can purchase mistletoe at:

 for $1.99 a bunch

Pumpkin City for $1.99 a bunch

 for $2.99 a bunch

Christmas Tree Jamboree located in Dana Point off of Del Prado for $2.49

Gelsons in Dana Point for $5.99 a bunch

 comes in a box with two strands for $2.44

 will not be getting a shipment until Friday

 Trader Joe's,  and  do not carry mistletoe.

According to the Holidayspot.com from early on, "mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. It was considered to bestow life and fertility; a protection against poison; and an aphrodisiac. The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially sacred to the ancient Celtic Druids. On the sixth night of the moon white-robed Druid priests would cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers that the recipients of the mistletoe would prosper. Later, the ritual of cutting the mistletoe from the oak came to symbolize the emasculation of the old King by his successor. Mistletoe was long regarded as both a sexual symbol and the "soul" of the oak. It was gathered at both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas is a survival of the Druid and other pre-Christian traditions.

"The Greeks also thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. In the Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits."

Here are a few fun facts about mistletoe from the U.S. Geological Survey:

  • American mistletoe, is one of 1,300 species of mistletoe worldwide but one of only two that are native to the U.S. The other is referred to as a dwarf mistletoe.
  • Did you know that 20 species of mistletoe are endangered, so think twice before trying to grab some off a tree should you see any.
  • Phoradendron, the scientific name for American mistletoe, means "thief of the tree" in Greek. Although not a true parasite in scientific terms, mistletoe comes close, sinking its roots into a host tree and leeching nutrients from the tree to supplement its own photosynthesis.
  • The translation of the word “mistletoe” is far from romantic. “Mistal” is an Anglo-Saxon word that means “dung” and “tan” means “twig,” so mistletoe actually means “dung on a twig.”
  • Mistletoe is toxic to people, but the berries and leaves provide high-protein food for many animals who live in the woods. Many bird species rely on mistletoe for food and nesting material. Butterflies lay their eggs on the plants and use the nectar as food. Mistletoe is also an important pollen and nectar plant for bees

--Blake Driver contributor to this report.

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