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Common Name: Lesser Dodder
Cuscuta epythymum is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It has medicinal uses.
Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain and east to the Caucasus and central Asia.
Parasitic on heather and gorse[
This is a parasitic species that is devoid of leaves, roots or chlorophyll and so is totally dependant upon its host[
]. 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[
The flowers emit a remarkably sweet perfume that is especially pronounced towards evening[
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[
The whole plant is antibilious, appetizer, carminative, cholagogue, mildly diuretic, hepatic, laxative and antiscorbutic[
]. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver disorders, jaundice, sciatica and scorbutic complaints[
]. It also has a reputation as an anticancer agent and as a specific for gout[
]. The plant should not be used by anyone suffering from haemorrhoids[
A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn, by lodging it among the stems of a host plant[