Cuscuta occidentalis Millsp.

Short-Flowered California Dodder
Convolvulaceae (Morning glory Family)


Short-flowered California dodder is one of four variants of California dodder, the others being Cuscuta californica var. apiculata near the Colorado River in the eastern Colorado Desert, Cuscuta californica var. papillosa on the South Coast, and Cuscuta californica var. californica which is the most commonly seen and ranges more or less everywhere in Southern California.  The variant Cuscuta californica var. breviflora has been renamed Cuscuta occidentalis. This variant has yellow stems of medium thickness with loose clusters of short-pedicelled flowers, and the perianths are not papillate as in some of the others.  Each flower has five spreading to recurved calyx lobes that are lanceolate to triangular and acute to acuminate.  The corollas are shallowly bell-shaped with five reflexed to spreading lanceolate lobes. What really distinguishes this variant is that the corollas are bulged out between the stamens.  The ovary and fruit are obovoid and the tops have a little depression in them. Short-flowered Cal. dodder may be found climbing on herbs along roadsides and in chaparral. grassland and yellow pine forests to an elevation of around 8000', blooming from May to August.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Cuscuta 2) occidentalis
Pronunciation: koos-KOO-ta ok-si-den-TAY-lis
Formerly Cuscuta californica var. breviflora.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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