Oak Mistletoe, American Mistletoe

Phoradendron serotinum

Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Phoradendron (for-uh-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species: serotinum (se-roh-TEE-num) (Info)
Synonym:Phoradendron eatonii
Synonym:Phoradendron leucarpum
Synonym:Phoradendron macrotomum
Synonym:Phoradendron orbiculatum
Synonym:Viscum oblongifolium



Parasites and Hemiparasites

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Hawthorne, Florida

La Grange, Kentucky

Princess Anne, Maryland

Greenville, North Carolina

Cibolo, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 13, 2013, liltexasgal from Blum, TX wrote:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT attempt to cultivate this plant! We have lost MANY oak trees to this invasive parasitic plant in the last couple of years. Now most of our oak trees are dead! I would be more than happy to send you a box FULL of this aweful stuff for you to have your way with as long as you DO NOT let the seeds out...especially for birds becuase that's how we ended up with so much of it. HORRIBLE, aweful, UGLY, nasty, plague-ishly invasive, PLEASE do not cultivate!


On Dec 15, 2009, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Probably I'm being irrational, assigning this a negative rating simply because it's a parasite. I'm pretty sure that this is the species ubiquitous here in neglected pecan groves, often forming globes of foliage six feet in diameter, high in the bigger trees. To a lesser degree it grows on oaks, mostly species of red oak and not too often on live oaks -- or is it just harder to spot on oaks that are almost evergreen? I suppose that one could shoot it down with a rifle in order to have it for Christmas decorations, as I hear is done in other parts of the South, but I've never seen it offered at e.g. farmer's markets in the Christmas season. Apparently it can be killed by spraying with 2,4-D when the host tree is dormant, if successes at Texas A&M are any indication; the host tree may lo... read more


On Nov 5, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Mistletoe is a semi-parasite on trees. It is an evergreen shrub that forms clumps 1-3' in diameter on branches of broad-leaved trees. Mistletoe leaves are opposite, thick and leathery, oval to round, and 1-2" long. The flowers are small and inconspicuous and the fruits are white or yellowish berries about a quarter inch in diameter. The bushy clumps, usually on branches near treetop, are most visible in winter on deciduous trees that have lost their leaves. Mistletoe can occur on almost any forest tree. It's common on live oaks. Mistletoe has chlorophyll and produces its own food, but it also has modified roots that extend into the host tree's circulatory system to derive water and minerals. It is not a serious pest, however, and even heavy infestations cause little loss of vigor to the h... read more