University of Maryland Extension

Dodder

Dodder
Cuscuta pentagona

dodder

 

Life cycle: annual vine
Growth habit: parasitic vine germinating from seed; thread-like, yellow-orange stems twine over host plants; roots modified to penetrate, then draw nutrients and water from the host; leaves inconspicuous
Reproduction: seeds; seeds are long-lived in the soil and germinate early spring or summer; flowers small, whitish, in clusters
Conditions that favor growth: only survives on preferred hosts such as alfalfa, clover, other legumes, and bedding plants; frequently found along slow moving streams
Cultural control: not commonly found in landscape situations; difficult, if not impossible, to control; must remove the infected plants before dodder goes to seed

 

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.