Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Cuscuta gronovii Willd.
CUSCUTACEAE (Dodder Family)
EtymologyCuscuta is the medieval Latin name for dodder, possibly derived fdrom the Arabic; gronovii is named for the Dutch naturalist, Johan Fredril Gronovius (1690-1762), a colleague of Linnaeus.
Synonyms (Common Name)Swamp Dodder, Strangleweed, Love-vine
DescriptionCommon dodder is a parasitic, annual vine that twines counter-clockwise around host plants and covers them in dense masses of thread-like stems. The smooth stems are orange or yellow because dodder lacks chlorophyll. Dodder gets nutrients and carbohydrates from host plants by penetrating their stems with its roots.
Wetland indicator statusNone
LeavesAlternate, reduced to indistinct scales.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite to yellowish flowers, tiny (1/8 -- 3/16"), 4-5 lobed, bell-shaped, in compact clusters.
Flowering PeriodJuly-October
FruitCapsule with 2-4 orange seeds, tiny, roundish.
Fruiting PeriodJuly -- first frost.
HabitatNontidal and fresh tidal marshes, swamps.
RangeNova Scotia to Manitoba, south to Florida and Arizona.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett