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Cuscuta epithymum - (L.)L.

Common Name Lesser Dodder
Family Convolvulaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Parasitic on heather and gorse[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain and east to the Caucasus and central Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cuscuta epithymum Lesser Dodder


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Cuscuta epithymum Lesser Dodder

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cuscuta epithymum is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from June to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Lesser dodder is considered to be a valuable though little used herbal remedy that supports the liver, being used for problems affecting the liver and gallbladder[254]. The whole plant is antibilious, appetizer, carminative, cholagogue, mildly diuretic, hepatic, laxative and antiscorbutic[4, 218]. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver disorders, jaundice, sciatica and scorbutic complaints[4]. It also has a reputation as an anticancer agent and as a specific for gout[218]. The plant should not be used by anyone suffering from haemorrhoids[7]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[7].

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

This is a parasitic species that is devoid of leaves, roots or chlorophyll and so is totally dependant upon its host[238]. A climbing plant, it must be grown close to a host plant around which it will twine itself and which it will penetrate with suckers in order to obtain nutriment[238, 245]. The flowers emit a remarkably sweet perfume that is especially pronounced towards evening[245].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn, by lodging it among the stems of a host plant[238].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Alfalfa dodder; clover dodder; common dodder. Spanish: cuscuta del trebol; epitimo. French: cuscute du thym; cuscute du thyme; cuscute du trefle. Portuguese: cabelos. Belgium: klaverwarkruid. Denmark: klover-silke. Finland: apilanvieras. Germany: Klee- Seide; Ouendel-Seide; Thymian-Seide. Italy: cuscuta del trifoglio; cuscuta piccola. Netherlands: duivelsnaaigaren; klein Warkruid. New Zealand: devil's gut. South Africa: klein dodder; lesser dodder. Sweden: kloeversnaerja.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Native to Europe, West Asia and northern Africa, an introduced species in North America, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

A noxious weed in 13 U.S. States. Not proved to be a highly invasive species, but there are very significant risks of accidental introduction with contaminated crop seed.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cuscuta chinensisChinese Dodder03
Cuscuta europaeaGreater dodder02
Cuscuta japonicaJapanese Dodder12
Cuscuta megalocarpaBigfruit Dodder10
Cuscuta reflexaDodder, Giant dodder02
Cuscuta umbellataFlatglobe dodder10

 

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Author

(L.)L.

Botanical References

17

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