A Sticky Tradition of Mistletoe

The Gods, The Science and The History


The Legend of Baldur

The god Odin’s son Baldur knew everything on earth wanted to kill him. His mother was Frigg, the goddess of love. She tried her best to talk to all of the animals and plants ensuring they wouldn’t hurt him. The only problem was that Frigg forgot to get an oath from the mistletoe. The god Loki made an arrow with mistletoe piercing Baldur through the heart. It’s now hung on the door frame and kissed under so we don’t ever forget it. In another version of the story, the gods were able to resurrect Baldur. His mother was so happy that she stated from then on mistletoe would be a symbol of love.

The Science

The evolution of mistletoe doesn’t have a wild background story like the one of the gods. The mistletoe is an ancestor of sandalwood. These trees are actually parasites. The roots of the sandalwood trees sink into the ground and spear the roots of trees around them. This allows them to take away the other tree’s nutrients and water.

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