20 Jun 2017

Wow Christchurch – we’ve been overwhelmed by your interest in the Backyard Mistletoe Project.

The Christchurch City Council project to blanket the city’s backyards with native green mistletoe has been inundated with interest from residents hoping to take part this weekend.

Graduate ecologist Kristina Macdonald said the unique campaign had captured people’s imaginations but it was going to be limited by the amount of fruit available. 

Graduate ecologist Kristina Macdonald is leading a project to cover Christchurch

Graduate ecologist Kristina Macdonald is leading a project to cover Christchurch with native green mistletoe.

“We are blown away by the interest in our project. We want to urge anyone genuinely keen on taking part to register their interest with the Backyard Mistletoe team. The fruit supply is limited and until we get out onto the Peninsula on Thursday to harvest the fruit, we won’t know exactly how much ripe fruit will be available and how many people we can supply in this project.

“If you have registered online prior to Friday and Saturday’s pick up times, it gives us a better indication of how much seed is required and allows us to communicate directly with you about supply, project updates and any future opportunities. And even if you have registered, we can’t guarantee supply until we see what is available. We really are amazed at the interest and excited that so many people want to be a part of bringing the green mistletoe back to the city.”

The native mistletoe was once common in the city but is now largely missing. The mistletoe are a favourite food of the bellbird and Council has a vision for a city brimming with bird song and yellow mistletoe fruit.

“We are delighted that so many residents feel the same as we do about greening the city, and bringing back the native birds.”

The seeds, harvested by Council staff around Banks Peninsula on Thursday, will be bagged up and kept at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. The project relies on Christchurch gardeners to collect one of those bags, and a set of easy “how to” instructions, this Friday or Saturday and sow the seeds in their own garden before Sunday night.

Find out more on the Backyard Mistletoe Project.