There are five species of mistletoe found in Arizona and they all can be found somewhere in southern Arizona at various elevations and on different species of trees or shrubs. In the Sonoran Desert the mistletoe species Phoradendron californicum is found on trees in the pea family, like ironwood, mesquite, paloverde, or acacias or as Arizona Flora says, “chiefly on leguminous shrubs and trees.” When you go up in elevation in southern Arizona you find P. serotinum (the subsp. tomentosum?) on the evergreen oaks. This mistletoe species looks like the classic Christmas mistletoe with green stems, oval leaves and small white fruit.
The birds Phainopepla nitens or phainopeplas – The genus name has become the common name too – range from the low desert up to the woodlands and eat the mistletoe berries of all the species found in the borderlands.
I’ve been guilty of hoarding interesting chunks of wood for many years, so this swirling oak grain thing is just more of the same I guess. I’ve included some photos so you can see what I’m talking about. You my want to go in with me on an oak burl farm. Let me know.