So why do people hang up the white-berried plant every year and smooch when they’re under it? In the TED-Ed video above, botanist Carlos Reif schools viewers on the mythology and biology of the mysterious “kissing plant.”
“With its resilience and foliage that stays lush even while the surrounding trees lose their leaves, mistletoe fascinated our ancestors,” Reif explains. “They saw this as signs of the plant’s magical qualities and fertility.”
Watch the video above for more of mistletoe’s fascinating story.