This red mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala) is growing on a southern beech tree. It is one of eight native mistletoe species, three of which grow on southern beech trees. Mistletoes are partly parasitic plants. They have leaves for photosynthesis, but their roots also go deep into the host tree to extract water and nutrients. Birds help pollinate mistletoe and also disperse the seeds. But bird numbers are declining because of attack by stoats and rats, and this may in turn threaten the survival of these plants.
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Department of Conservation
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