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Cuscuta epithymum

Petite cuscute
Common Dodder

Category:

Additional information

Plant family

Area

Sainte Baume

Flower colour

white

Flower size

cluster 7-10 mm

Flowering months

July,

August,

September

Leaf type

Scales

Height

to 60 cm

Description

An annual parasitic plant, creeping along the ground to find a host plant. Once germinated, threadlike stems appear which wind themselves in a circular way around the stem of the host plant. Inside these threadlike stems are vesicles (part of the cell’s transportation network). These vesicles attach themselves to the bark of the plant. As soon as they have firmly attached themselves, the root withers away. Once the Dodder is no longer attached to the soil for its nutrients and water, it uses the host plant, smothering the host plant but rarely killing it.

Flowers

The flowers grow in clusters and have 5 waxy petals, with stamens as long as the petals.

Leaves

Scales leaves resemble green scales e.g. Cupressus, Juniperus. Hardly noticeable, leaves are reduced to minute scales.

Fruits Seeds

Capsule: spherical.

Edible

Seeds: used as a tonic. They are nutrituous and a stimulant.

Medical

Was once used to treat urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver diseases. It was considered to be a laxative and to improve liver function.

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