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Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Annual Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)

General: Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata) is yellow-orange, parasitic vine that commonly grows on shrubs, often completely covering the shrub. Small white flowers give rise to small, berry-like capsules from which the seeds are explosively ejected, thereby spreading seeds from one unhappy shrub to another.

Desert Dodder is a common component of shrub communities in washes and on upper bajadas in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. Other species of dodder are common elsewhere, including agricultural fields.

 

Family: Dodder (Cuscutaceae).

Other Names: Dodder.

Plant Form: Annual parasitic vine.

Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Here, Desert Dodder looks like yellow "hair" on a White Bursage

Height: Vine growing on shrubs and subtrees.

Stems: Thread-like, yellow-green to orange.

Leaves: None.

Flowers: Blooms late spring to fall.

Seeds: Fruit: berry-like capsule. Seeds small, explosively ejected from capsule.

Habitat: Mostly grows on shrubs in dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils in washes, desert flats, and upper bajadas.

Elevation: To about 4,000 feet.

Distribution: California to Utah, south into Baja California.

Comments: This species is common in middle-elevation shrub communities in the Mojave Desert Scrub life zone. Other species are common elsewhere, including in agricultural fields (e.g., alfalfa).

Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Typical view: parasitic dodder growing on scattered shrubs
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Typical desert scene: dodder, shrubs, and several species of wildflowers
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata) Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata) Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Desert Dodder wrapping around another shrub
Desert Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata)
Desert Dodder wrapping around another shrub

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 170828

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