Cuscuta californica

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Cuscuta californica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Cuscuta
Species: C. californica
Binomial name
Cuscuta californica
Hook. & Arn.

Cuscuta californica is a species of dodder known by the common names Chaparral dodder and California dodder. It is native to western North America.


Cuscuta californica is a parasitic vine which climbs other plants and takes nutrition directly from them via a haustorium. The dodder resembles a pile of yellow-orange straw wrapped tightly around its host plant. It is mostly stem; the leaves are reduced to scales on the stem's surface, since they are not needed for photosynthesis while the dodder is obtaining nutrients from its host. It bears tiny white flowers which are only about 3 millimeters wide, and fruits which are even smaller.


This is a member of grassland and chaparral plant communities, and can be found in weedy, partially developed areas. Like most other dodders, this species is considered a noxious weed in many areas.

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