All species of Mistletoe are parasitic, they grow on the stems of trees and draw water and minerals from their hosts. However they are capable of photosynthesis and use the process to provide most of their sugars.

Shortly after sprouting the roots of the mistletoe plant grow into the xylem of its host plant, acting as a continuation of the host's xylem in order to draw away water and minerals intended to travel to the host's leaves for photosynthesis.

During the early stages of its life cycle the mistletoe also takes sugars from its host but once the leaves are able to conduct photosynthesis the plant begins to rely on its own photosynthesis for sugars.  The host continues to provide water and minerals.









Diagram of photosynthesis, the process through which all plants obtain the majority of their sugars.