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  • Sorry...trying to keep this complicated subject one that people will read and want to learn more about. I'm aware most mistletoes are obligate stem hemi-parasites and can use photosynthesis to some degree under natural conditions. You obviously are well versed and realize the complexities would drive off most readers. I picked the wrong example and didn't go far enough I guess. Judie

    June 20, 2011 at 5:43 p.m.
  • Judie needs to understand parasites a bit better - saying "Mistletoe is a partial (hemi) parasite. It can grow on its own but is usually found on a host tree." displays significant misunderstanding of the concept.

    Mistletoes (and there are lots of them) are usually hemi-parasites, though some are full parasites. But the biggest error is assuming that 'hemi' means it doesn't have to be parasitic. Hemi-parasitic means that the mistletoe can produce some of its own resources - but not all. So it might have green leaves - and so be independently photosynthetic - but it is still dependent on the host tree for water and nutrients. A 'hemi-parasite' can NEVER grow on its own - it always needs to be attached to its host. Get it right please.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:59 a.m.