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Plant of the Week: Arceuthobium pusillum

Plant of the Week! Wisconsin’s smallest shrub, Arceuthobium pusillum, Eastern Dwarf Mistletoe, only grows a couple centimeters tall. In the photo, it is the orange-brown plant growing out of this Black Spruce branch. A hemi-parasitic plant, it derives nutrients from host plants, eventually weakening and killing them. Dwarf Mistletoe is one of the causes for a phenomenon called “Brooming”, in which branches form dense clumps of irregular growth. To learn more about this truly fascinating little shrub, take a look at this great Wisconsin Natural Resources article: https://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2009/12/mistletoe.htm

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