Golden Dodder
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Golden Dodder
P Naturalized Unknown Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Golden Dodder, common dodder, field dodder, prairie dodder
Botanical name: Cuscuta campestris    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Cuscuta arvensis, Cuscuta pentagona var. calycina

Golden Dodder is a slender, leafless, parasitic plant with yellowish or whitish, twining stems up to 2 m long and forming dense patches up to 6 m across. The plant, being parasitic, has no leaves. Flowers are borne in lateral, usually compact spherical clusters, 4-18-flowered, nearly stalkless. Flower-stalk is about 1 mm. Calyx is cup-shaped, enclosing flower tube, about 1.5 mm; sepals 5, oval or circular, sometimes wider than long. Flower are white, short bell-shaped, about 2.5 mm, 4- or 5-lobed; petals broadly triangular, tip pointed or blunt, often curled back. Stamens are shorter to longer than petals. Greenish-yellow fruits occur intermittently along the stringy vines. This plant invades a wide range of habitats, especially river banks, other moist sites and irrigated crop lands. Golden Dodder is native to the American continents, but widely naturalized.

Identification credit: Minal Jani Photographed in Maharashtra.

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