Cuscuta gronovii (Dodder) - photos and description









General: Parasitic plant which twines around host plants. Stems orange-yellow. Has sucker-like appendages, termed haustoria, by which it penetrates the host plant and extracts nutrients. Haustoria measured at 1 mm in length.

Upon finding this plant we quickly searched for roots and found none as we had expected. Dodder's roots wither away once a seedling adheres to a host plant, and the Dodder plant is no longer rooted in the ground when mature.

Flowers: Flowers are white, abundant in dense clusters, we measured a flower at 4 mm diameter and 5 mm long.

Leaves: Leafless, with leaves reduced to scales.

Height: Plants can climb on surrounding plants to a metre in height.

Habitat: Moist sites and shores.

Abundance: Listed as fairly common in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan. We've only seen it a couple of times.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos August 9th along the banks of the Red Deer River, near Hudson Bay, about 400 km north east of our home in Regina, SK.