Cuscuta americana

Cuscuta americana L.

Common Names: Dodder

Family: Convolvulaceae

Habit: Cuscuta americana grows as a yellowish orange parasitic vine to 7 meters in height covering other vegetation and attached via haustoria to branches and leaves. There are  highly reduced scale like leaves.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in tight clusters. The calyx has 5 greenish white, fused, sepals. The corolla has 5 whitish yellow, fused petals.  On the interior of the corolla between the stamens are fringed scales. The calyx and the corolla are about the same length. There are 5 stamens subsessile on the corolla. The ovary is superior with 2 locules and multiple ovules.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Cuscuta americana grows on plants in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest/Woodland/Shrubland (coppice and scrublands) as well as in Human Altered environments.

Distribution: Cuscuta americana occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and northern South America, Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cuscuta americana is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.