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Holiday plant lore

By Cathy Walworth

Holly wreaths were sent to newlyweds in ancient Rome to express congratulations and good will. Like other people around the world, the Romans believe that the holly warded off evil spirits. In England, holly protected against witches, dogs and wild beasts. Soon every house, church, street corner and market was decorated with holly. Just don’t eat it.

Holly causes stomach upset in people and can be fatal to dogs and cats. If small children eat a lot of holly berries they can become sick with vomiting, diarrhea and stupor. Kissing under the mistletoe comes from a Norse tale. Balder, the Norse sun god, had a caring mom. Frigga, Balder’s mother, feared for her son’s life. She extracted promises from every living thing not to kill Balder. She forgot mistletoe.

Read the original article at: Jacksonhole Star Tribune

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