Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bigseed Alfalfa Dodder - Cuscuta indecora   Choisy
Members of Cuscuta with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Solanales » Family Convolvulaceae
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AuthorChoisy
DistributionMainly limited to coastal regions, though there is a specimen from Bladen County, well inland from the coast. So far known only from the Coastal Plain.

This is a poorly known species with a wide range. It occurs from NJ and ID south to southern FL and CA, and farther southward into the tropics.
AbundanceRare in coastal areas, and very rare elsewhere in the Coastal Plain, if correctly identified. The NCNHP database, oddly, does not contain this species, even though it has been known from the state for many years. The website editors thus give a State Rank of S1? and a status of Watch List.
HabitatThe species is found mainly around salt or brackish marshes, but also in other sunny wetlands near the coast, including roadsides. It also occurs in wet disturbed areas. It grows on many herbaceous and woody species across its wide range.
PhenologyBlooms from July to October, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationSee Taxonomic Comments. The description from Gleason (1952): "Flowers whitish, 3-5 mm. long, short-pediceled in loose irregular clusters. Calyx-lobes triangular, acute or subacute, shorter than to about equaling the broad corolla-tube. Corolla-lobes broadly triangular, erect or ascending, usually shorter than the tube, acute with inflexed tips."
Taxonomic CommentsThe species of Cuscuta all share a few similar features, and they are difficult to separate except by mostly small characters, best seen with a hand lens or microscope. Each is a parasitic vine, lacking roots or true leaves, and nearly all are orange or yellow in color, twining up its host plant with the use of tiny aerial "roots". The small white flowers are in clusters along the stem. These plants should be quite familiar as a group, often presenting a tangled mass of orange vines growing over other plants. See Weakley (2018) or other references for keys to assist in identification.
Other Common Name(s)Pretty Dodder, Collared Dodder
State Rank[S1?]
Global RankG5
State Status[W7]
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
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