Oklahoma State Flower
Mistletoe (common name)
Phoradendron serotinum (scientific name)
Mistletoe is the Oklahoma floral emblem, first adopted in 1893 when the state was still a territory. Though mistletoe is a parasite, its white berries and green leaves were a welcome sight for early settlers in a bleak landscape, and it was a common floral decoration in early pioneer days. It was reaffirmed as a state emblem in 1910, three years after the territory became a state.
The plant grows in trees, forming bright mid-green globes of foliage in the tree’s branches, and drawing water and some nutrients from the tree. Stems are usually quite straight, smooth, and branching, and the same color as the leaves. Some mistletoe plants also perform photosynthesis to meet part of their needs.
Flowers are not usually noticeable from a distance, but the clusters of white berries (which grow in groups of about 10) are more visible, particularly as they usually appear after the tree has dropped its leaves. The berry’s juice is sticky, so when birds eat the berries, the mistletoe seeds stick to the branches and later germinate, allowing the plant to spread.
Plant: Parasitic shrub
Mature Height: 3.9–31 in (10-80 cm) wide
Flowering: March through August
Flowers: 0.039–0.12 in (.1–.3 cm) wide
Flower Color: Yellow-green
Leaves: 0.79–2.0 in (2–5 cm) long, mid-green, smooth, teardrop-shaped
Fruit/Seed Color: White berries
Range: Across the U.S. form New York south and west to California and Oregon
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|Author: World Trade Press|