Berhautia senegalensis

December 4, 1998

(Photograph) - When kissing under the mistletoe this Christmas, save a thought for researchers at Newman College in Birmingham, who spent this summer on the hunt for Berhautia senegalensis, a rare pink mistletoe confined to the tree tops of southern Senegal and eastern Gambia. Led by Michael Jones, senior lecturer in biology, the team aimed to learn about the plant's pollination mechanism and its relation to Africa's other 254 species of mistletoe, as well as to Britain's single species. Dr Jones suggests that "berhaut's mistletoe" has a sophisticated pollination process assisted by African sunbirds. The group is the first to have photographed the plant in flower. Photograph: Michael Jones

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