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Dodder wrapped around stem
of another plant

Cuscuta gronovii

Common Name of Species: Dodder, Love Tangle

Entry Author:  C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Description: Dodder can be identified by it’s bright orange stems, noticeable absence of leaves, and small white clustered flowers.  Dodder is a parasitic plant, meaning that it does not grow on its own, but rather wraps around the stalks of other plants.
Dodder has no leaves.
Tiny, white, bell shaped clustered flowers.  Each flower is approximately 1/8 of an inch wide.  Flower clusters are very dense.
Stems vary from yellowish orange to bright orange, and are vine-like. Stems are not rooted into the ground, rather they are parasitic and attach onto other plant stems for stability and nutrients. 
No specific height or length of vines.
Branching Pattern of Leaves:
 Dodder has no leaves.
Will attach to a great variety of plants, most of which grow in moist/wet meadows and thickets.
Eastern half of North America.

Niering, W.A., Olmstead, N.C, & Thieret, J.W. (2001). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Eastern Region (Revised Edition).  New York: Random House Inc.

Newcomb, Lawrence (1977).  Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.  New York: Little, Brown.

McKenny, M. & Peterson R.T. (1996). Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers Northeastern/ North-central North America. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

USDA, NRCS (2004). Plants Database, Version 3.05 (  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874 USA.


This page was created by: C. Friedl, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/16/05