Viscum album

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaViscaceaeViscumViscum album


A hemiparasite on a wide range of trees in orchards, hedgerows, parklands and gardens, but rarely in dense or primary woodlands. Its most frequent hosts are Malus spp., followed by Tilia x europaea, Crataegus spp. (its commonest native hosts), Populus spp., Acer spp., Salix spp. and Robinia pseudoacacia. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Temperate element; also in C. and E. Asia.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 788

Life form information

Height (cm): 100

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary


Comment on Life Form

dwarf shrub



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 923

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 6

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4

Atlas Change Index: 0.97

Weighted Changed Factor: 41

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (152a)
Briggs J
1999.  Kissing Goodbye to Mistletoe.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Perring FH
1973.  Mistletoe. Plants wild and cultivated. :139-145.