Cuscuta japonica

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Cuscutaceae
Genus: Cuscuta
Species: C. japonica
Scientific Name
Cuscuta japonica
Choisy
Common Names

Japanese dodder

Overview

Appearance
Cuscuta japonica is an annual, parasitic vine that has recently been introduced into the United States. It is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed.
Foliage
The many-branching stems are fleshy, circular, and pale yellow with red spots and striations. Leaves are minute and scale-like.
Flowers
Flowers are abundant, pale yellow, and sessile.
Fruit
Fruits are capsules that are ovoid and 0.2 in. (5 mm) in diameter. The seeds are brown and grouped with 1 to 3 seeds per capsule.
Ecological Threat
Many species of dodder, some native and some exotic, occur in the United States. Cuscuta japonica parasitizes host plants by penetrating the vascular tissue of the host with structures called haustoria. Severe infestations can kill host plants. It is native to Asia and several infestations have recently been found in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.

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