Visum liquidambaricolum Hayata on Tea Trees
“Crab Feet” on Trees
In the Jingmai Mountain, Pu’er City, Yunnan Province, besides viewing the 10,000 mu tea garden and tasting the thousand-year tea, another attracting scenery is the parasitic plant “crab feet” with rich medicinal value on the ancient tea trees, such crab feet have absorbed aura and essence from tea for over one thousand of years.
What are crab feet? Crab feet are also called: Visum liquidambaricolum Hayata, or Viscum articulatum Burm, belonging to mistletoe family Genus Viscum. Crab feet are parasites in the arbor tea trees of higher ages.
Crab feet are green (turns into brownish yellow after picking and drying), shaped like small coral with fine fur which look like crab feet, which is how the name comes.
Crab feet grow in the ancient tea forest of Yunnan Lancang River Basin, which is the main tea-producing areas of Yunnan Pu’er Tea. In the Pu’er tea industry, crab feet in the ancient tea forest of Jingmai Mountain get the highest opinion in regard of quality. The crab feet of high value in Jingmai Mountain are not parasitic on the Liquidambar formosana Hance, nor on the Aluerites fordii Hemsi, in fact, they are parasitic on ancient tea tree of high ages. Some people collectively call them the Crab Feet Pu’er Tea, shaped in curly stretch with a number of sections, like a flat rod Juncus effusus, 3 to 4 inches long, and each section is short with solid medium inside.
Adding some crab feet into the tea will improve the taste of the tea, integrate the quality, and make the tea taste fuller, silkier, and sweeter.