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Need help ID'ing something I've never seen before-Dodder

 
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I have an area of ground ivy in one of my goat paddocks. Recently, this has been growing on it. I've never seen anything like it before.

Strange orangy vine-like plant.


Here's a close-up.

Close-up.


You can see that it's flowering.

I tried to figure out where it's growing from (roots), but it's such a tangle of delicate vines that I couldn't figure it out.

Any ideas???
 
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It looks like dodder.  https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/aug/21/dodder-not-vine-love/  ...this was the first link I came across and now I see what it recommends if all else fails...ignore that of course.

We see it here but I've never had it be a problem like in some areas...not sure if it has any 'saving graces' though?

I usually just pull it off the plants and let it dry in the sun.
 
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Yup. Dodder. It's a parasite. It showed up here one year. I did what Judith suggests, and haven't seen it since.
 
Leigh Tate
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Judith and Joylynn, thank you! It's kinda interesting but also kinda creepy, lol. I will follow your advice!
 
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Ewww!

That picture with tons of it all over the landscape is very creepy, indeed.
 
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in the science forum there is a thread on dodder
The parasite that wires plants together


i forgot how to post link
 
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Yep, creepy is the word!

Here in the high desert in the Himalayas, I've seen it here and there every year one small plant or another, but it never seems to become a big problem. Some years I really tried to pull out every bit of it, and other years I ignored it, and it didn't seem to make any difference in how much appeared the following year.

In Delhi I've seen what must be a different species of Cuscuta. Huge strands as thick as ropes, covering a whole tree. Yuck!

cuscuta-tree_091819073104.jpg
Cuscuta (dodder) on a tree in Delhi
Cuscuta (dodder) on a tree in Delhi
 
Leigh Tate
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To add to the creep factor, I found this time-lapse video that also shows how it parasitizes its host.

 
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Ugh. I was just up in an environmental preserve in the mountains here and saw a huge patch of it covering native Atlantic forest. It does seem to come and go, some years it is everywhere and other years it seems to wane a bit. I researched a bit and the local native people apparently used it for medicinal purposes, although it wasn't really clear how.
 
Leigh Tate
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Judith Browning wrote:...not sure if it has any 'saving graces' though?


Found one! Apparently, it can be used as a natural dye for wool -> Dodder natural dye experiment at Tangible Daydreams

Tereza Okava wrote:I researched a bit and the local native people apparently used it for medicinal purposes, although it wasn't really clear how.


Interesting tidbit, Tereza. I'll have to research that too.
 
Judith Browning
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Leigh Tate wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:...not sure if it has any 'saving graces' though?


Found one! Apparently, it can be used as a natural dye for wool -> Dodder natural dye experiment at Tangible Daydreams



hahaha...that's one I would have been interested in! ...and a great way to dispose of it, by boiling...likely by the end it could be tossed in the compost.
Here's a bit more https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/conservation-and-scientific-research/projects/identifying-natural-dyes

Among reference samples analyzed in this study, "zacatlaxcalli" 1 and "parasita from Mexico" 2 showed a chromatographic profile similar to that of the yellow sample from the tapestry. These reference samples are dyed with species of Cuscuta, one of the natural yellow dyes recorded as having been used in Mexico.........

 
Leigh Tate
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Judith Browning wrote:Here's a bit more https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/conservation-and-scientific-research/projects/identifying-natural-dyes

Among reference samples analyzed in this study, "zacatlaxcalli" 1 and "parasita from Mexico" 2 showed a chromatographic profile similar to that of the yellow sample from the tapestry. These reference samples are dyed with species of Cuscuta, one of the natural yellow dyes recorded as having been used in Mexico.........


Interesting! And I also note the reference to one species of Cuscuta (dodder) seeds being used medicinally in China.

So that got me to look in two of my most extensive herbals.

Native American Medicinal Plants lists four species of dodder where they are said to have been used for black widow bites, nosebleeds, bruises, as a ceremonial emetic, and "used by girls to divine the sincerity of suitors."

The Herb Society of America Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses mentions there are 100 species belonging to the genus, with several being used medicinally: for melancholy diseases, disorders of spleen, kidneys, and liver. Used in Ayurvedic medicine as an alternative, purgative, carminative, and anthelmintic. Apparently, it is the seeds that are used.
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