European hosts & habitats

European hosts & habitats

Mistletoe on Poplars in France


Viscum album’s hosts in Europe are similar to those in Britain – a very wide range but with some definite favourites (apple, poplar, lime etc).

The main difference in mainland Europe is a slightly wider host range, with mistletoe often seen on some species (e.g. Birch, Sugar Maple) that it is rarely seen on in Britain.

Mistletoe on Fir trees in Switzerland. Picture courtesy of John Hollier

There are some more technical differences too, as there are more subspecies of Viscum album on the continent than in Britain.  There are three in total, including the usual Viscum album subspecies album on the many deciduous hosts but also subspecies austriacum on pine trees and subspecies abietis on fir trees.

These evergreen tree mistletoes can be hard to spot (there are lost of them in the picture on the left – click to enlarge), but they are surprisingly common, particularly in upland habitats.

A fourth subspecies (V a ssp creticum) is only found on Crete, also on pines.

Mistletoe habitats across Europe are, unsurprsingly, very similar to Britain, with much in gardens, orchards and other suburban habitats, and only found in woodland with fairly open structure, such as poplar plantations or, for the evergreen host species, the open forests of upland areas.

You’re viewing the Host and Habitats Pages of The Mistletoe Pages. Other pages within the Host & Habitats tab include: Hosts & Habitats IntroductionHosts & Habitats in BritainHosts & Habitats In Europe, and Hosts & Habitats Elsewhere.