Words…Holly vs. Mistletoe

I just cut some Holly…or was it Mistletoe… from a tree up the street.  Which is which or is it the same thing? I should know this stuff but just to make sure I consulted a website & came across these snappy little rhymes below that will help to differentiate the two organisms in such a fashion that you never get them confused again:

In our modern society, so far removed from nature (for most people, not us Vancouverites), people often make mistakes that would have been unthinkable a few centuries ago – like confusing holly and mistletoe. Both are plants, both bear tiny inedible berries, and both are used as decoration around December. Those are the only things they have in common. Somehow, people get them mixed up, usually hanging holly as mistletoe (oops), and attempting (improperly!) to kiss beneath it.


Berries of white, kissing’s alright.
Berries of red get you hit in the head.

Okay, I’ve got rhyme, now to work on meter… maybe if I mix it up with a limerick….

There once was a garland of red,
Who rustled his spikes and said:
“Though I’m decoration,
I can’t cause affection,
I wish I were mistletoe instead.”

I think we’re onto something, here.

Traditional antidote for poison
Though most have an allergic reaction
The druids don’t care
They’re too busy sharing
a kiss to compile reliable medical information.”

Big showstopping number!

The holly looked up t’ward the tree,
“How do you do it?” said he.
“You drain sap like a vampire,
Yet folks say you inspire

Far more kisses than me.

    The mistletoe softly replied,

“Though I wear white like a bride,
It’s your red berries
that  make people merry,
Mine’s a minor tradition beside.”

Okay, that’s about as good as it’s going to get, here. I hope we’ve all got it straight, now:

Holly has red berries and pointy leaves.

Mistletoe has white berries and round leaves.

from tailsteak.com