Posted: Dec 12 2013
Over the next week, buyers will travel hundreds of miles to get their hands on mistletoe, the parasitic plant responsible for many a romantic Christmas liaison. But how did one market town become the UK's trading centre for the festive foliage?
Tenbury Wells sits alongside the River Teme where Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire meet - the three counties, experts say, which provide some of the best growing grounds for mistletoe.
The plant loves fruit trees to attach itself to, and the large number of orchards in Herefordshire and Worcestershire were thought to play a large part in the abundance of mistletoe in the area.
Mark Adams, an arable and livestock farmer from Eastham, about five miles outside Tenbury, gets extra profits from the mistletoe his farm attracts and sells it online.
"The money from mistletoe is negligible really," he said.
"You couldn't survive on it, no way.
"But it's growing there and you may as well take advantage of that."
Wholesale, he charges £35 for 50 sprigs (about 3.5kg or 7lb 11oz), going up to £215 for 450 sprigs...