Posted by Bangzkie Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Viscum album is a species of mistletoe, the species originally so-named, and also known as European Mistletoe or Common Mistletoe to distinguish it from other related species. It is native to Europe and western and southern Asia.
Mistletoe has always attracted popular interest and has been surrounded by a number of myths and legends. In some countries it plays a part in Christmas festivities. Pliny recorded an ancient druidic belief that mistletoe collected from oaks had special qualities; the same theme is reprised in the popular Asterix comic books. In Norse myth, an arrow made of mistletoe was the only thing that was able to kill the god Balder. The goddess Frigg had asked all other things to vow not to hurt Balder, but she had ignored the mistletoe because it seemed too small to be dangerous
Mistletoe is an ingredient of pomace brandy based liquor biska made in Istra, Croatia.
The mistletoe was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus. Its species name is the Latin adjective albus "white". It and the other members of the genus Viscum were originally classified in the mistletoe family Viscaceae, but this family has since been sunk into the larger family Santalaceae.