Cuscuta campestris Yunck..

Western Field Dodder
Convolvulaceae (Dodder Family)


 

Western field dodder, aka five-angled dodder, is a fairly common parasitic plant that is to be found below 1500' generally near the coast on many herbaceous and shrubby hosts especially in the sunflower family.   It might at first be taken for C. californica but the long corolla appendages (1-2 mm) eliminate that possibility.   The flowers are in small loose clusters on orange stems that can be slender or fairly thick.  The calyx is about as long as the corolla tube with ovate, obtuse lobes that broadly overlap at the sinuses giving it an angular appearance, and the corolla is shallowly bell-shaped, squat and fat, with four-five ± erect lobes and acute incurved to reflexed tips.  The stamen filaments are long, but not as long as in californica, and the stigma is headlike.  The corolla appendages are incurved over the ovary, and each has few to many finger-like divisions at the tips.  The ovary and fruit are spheric with small depressions on the top.  Western field dodder extends to the eastern part of the U.S. and blooms from May to November.  These pictures were taken at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and the host plant was Ambrosia chamissonis.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Cuscuta  2) campestris.
Pronunciation: koos-KOO-ta cam-PES-tris.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.

 










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