Mistletoe is native to Europe, north Africa and Asia to Japan.
In the British Isles it occurs from the south coast of England, northwards to Yorkshire, but is entirely absent from Scotland and Ireland.
Mistletoe has been recorded growing on over 200 different species of host tree, although the most frequent are apple, oak, poplar and lime. Mistletoes rarely kill trees unless the host carries a very heavy infestation. However, they do reduce the growth of the host and cause other damage, and are regarded as pests in commercial plantations.
Many animals and plants either rely on mistletoe for food and shelter, or appear to thrive in its presence. In recognition of this effect, mistletoe is recognised as 1 of a limited number of keystone species - organisms which have a disproportionately large effect on other species around them.