A rare find: mistletoe is discovered in Halifax

Christmas is over and the trimmings have been taken down - but a rare crop of mistletoe has just been discovered in Halifax.

The festive plant, which is sprucing up a tree in People's Park, Halifax, is not commonly found in the north according to Halifax Scientific Society.

President Steve Blacksmith said it was a first for Halifax.

He said: "It's a very interesting find. I've lived here all my life and I've always had to go down south to see mistletoe before - and it's been here all along."

He believes it may have gone unnoticed for up to 10 years - possibly because it lacks the plant's trademark white berries.

"You'll only get berries if there are both male and female plants," said Mr Blacksmith.

"It's also very hard to see in the summer because the trees are full of green leaves and blossom. It's only in winter they become noticeable."

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that usually grows on fruit trees.

It is most commonly found in the orchards of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Gardeners can buy grow-your-own mistletoe kits online - but there are only known to have been two other wild crops found in Calderdale.

"There was one in Hebden Bridge but that's not there anymore - it got taken off two Christmases ago. And there's one which the finder would rather keep confidential," said Mr Blacksmith.

He is asking nature-lovers to report any more sightings of the plant by emailing steve.blacksmith@btinternet.com or calling 01422 348222.

*What do you think of the discovery? Email: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk