Monday, April 20, 2009

Cuscuta, Dodder

Cuscuta species or Dodder belong to the Morning Glory Family, Convolvulaceae and it is a parasitic plant which has thread like twining leafless stems that drape over host plants attaching itself by special absorbing organs known as haustorium. It was once given the folk name of devil's hair but has recently been given a lift in status by florists with its inclusion on bridal tables in combination with orchids and other decorative flowers. Dodders new symbolism being about 'true love entwined' It is not the sort of plant you will find at your local garden centre but you do come across the local species Cuscuta australis if you are out bush walking.It is pictured below along with other species from overseas.
Cuscuta sp. in Shawnee National Forest
South Illinois, USA

Cuscuta sp.covering an Acacia tree in Pakistan
Cuscuta sp. in the Mojave Desert

Cuscuta europaea in flower

Cuscuta australis in local bushland

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