Cuscuta subinclusa Durand & Hilg.

Canyon Dodder
Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family)

Canyon dodder is a parasitic viney plant lacking chlorophyll that has fairly stout and somewhat fleshy orange stems and long, slender white flowers.  It can be differentiated from California dodder (C. californica) which is the other common dodder in Southern California by the length and shape of the flowers and by the stamen filaments which are prominently exserted in californica and absent or much shorter in subinclusa.  The flowers are 5-merous and 5-6mm long, sessile in small umbellate clusters.  The calyx is half the length of the corolla, which is cylindric with erect to spreading ovate lobes and spoon-shaped appendages about 1/16" long with finger-like divisions situated opposite the stamens.  This is another way that subinclusa can be told apart from californica, which has appendages either 0 or very short.  The anthers are oblong, and sessile or subsessile. Canyon dodder is common, mostly on shrubs in many plant communities to 5000', often in forested areas near streams, blooming from June to October.  These pictures were taken along the Clamshell Motorway and in Monrovia Canyon in the front range of the San Gabriels.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Cuscuta  2) subinclusa.
Pronunciation: koos-KOO-ta sub-in-KLOO-sa.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.