Cuscata (taxonomic genus)
Wide variety of temperate and tropical regions
No listed status
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Dodders have yellow-orange vines that twist around stems of above ground shrubby and herbaceous plants, such as sagebrush or agricultural crops. The stems lack leaves but have small white flowers that grow in clusters fused to the stem.
Dodder plants have no roots and little chlorophyll, meaning they depend on their hosts for photosynthates (sugars/food), water, and minerals (aka a holoparasite).
After germinating in the soil, the seedlings can survive for 5-10 days while they “look” for a host plant to climb up.
Dodders have specialized structures called haustoria, which allow them to tap into the vascular system of host plants and collect water, food, and minerals.
Plant diseases caused by parasitic higher plants, invasive climbing plants, and parasitic green algae. Chapter 13. In: Plant Pathology (5th Ed.), Academic Press, N.Y.
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