If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Cuscuta chinensis

Lam.

Convolvulaceae

+ Synonyms

Cuscuta alatiloba monosperma Yunck.

Cuscuta applanata Engelm.

Cuscuta carinata R.Br.

Cuscuta ciliaris Hohen.

Cuscuta exigua Engelm.

Cuscuta fimbriata Bunge ex Engelm.

Cuscuta hyalina Wight

Cuscuta maritima Makino

Cuscuta sulcata Roxb.

Grammica aphylla Lour.

Grammica applanata (Engelm.) Hadac & Chrtek

Pentake chinense (Lam.) Raf.

Common Name: Chinese Dodder

No Image.

General Information

Cuscuta chinensis is a parasitic, herbaceous perennial plant, devoid of chlorophyll and obtaining its nourishment from the host plant around which it twines.
The plant is often used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is harvested from the wild and sold in local markets.
Cuscuta species can severely affect the plants they parasitize - when this involves plants sown as crops, yields can be badly impacted. Many Cuscuta species, therefore, are classified as weeds and sometimes have controls over their movements.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Northeast Africa; Asia from Arabia to Kazakhstan, east to Russian Far East (Primorye), Japan and Vietnam; Australia; southwest N. America.

Habitat

Near seashores, C. and S. Japan[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
]. Parasitic on a wide range of mainly herbacous plants, growing in fields, open mountain slopes, thickets and sandy beaches; at elevations up to 3,000 metres in most parts of China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual Climber
Height0.00 m
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Cuscuta chinensis has a very wide native range, being found from the temperate zone (at both low and higher elevations) to tropical regions (mainly at higher elevations).
The plant grows best in a sunny position, in deep shade the coiling of the stems and attachment to the host is inhibited[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Cuscuta species are obligate parasites with only rudimentary vestiges of leaves and roots. They do not produce chlorophyll and so are totally dependant upon their host for nutrimentt[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Cuscuta reproduces by seed and when this germinates the seedling has only a few days in which to find a host before its food reserves run out and it dies. Assuming it finds a host, the seedling then attaches itself by means of suckers (called haustoria) which penetrate the host and obtain nutriment. The stem below the first point of attachment then dies and the Cuscuta plant has no nore direct contact with the soil. The Cuscuta then twines around its host, often eventually enveloping it and also spreading into suitable hosts nearby. Some Cuscuta species have fairly specific requirements for a host, but many are able to thrive on a wide range of suitable hosts. This species is most commonly found growing on plants in the families Fabaceae, Asteracae and Zygophyllaceae[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The life cycle is generally annual, though plants can be propagated by stem cuttings, and sometimes plants can persist as a perennial on a perennial host - even when all visible stems have been killed by winter frost, it is capable of regeneration from the embedded haustoria[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Cuscuta chinensis seed is one of the commonly used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, being used especially to enhance sexual function and improve vision[
1769
Title
Therapeutic Anabolic and Anticatabolic Benefits of Natural Chinese Medicines for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
Publication
Front. Pharmacol. 10:1344. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Author
He J., Li X., Wang Z. et al
Website
http://10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Publisher
 
Year
2019
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The main biological activities of the seed include skin and liver protection, immune regulation and neuroprotection[
1769
Title
Therapeutic Anabolic and Anticatabolic Benefits of Natural Chinese Medicines for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
Publication
Front. Pharmacol. 10:1344. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Author
He J., Li X., Wang Z. et al
Website
http://10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Publisher
 
Year
2019
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The seed is antiinflammatory, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, hepatic and tonic[
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
,
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
,
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is decocted and used with other herbs to treat a variety of ailments[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. In particular, it is used in the treatment of impotence, nocturnal emissions, vertigo, lumbago, leucorrhoea, frequent micturation, decreased eyesight, threatened abortion and chronic diarrhoea[
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
].

A lotion made from the stems is used in the treatment of sore heads and inflamed eyes[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

The seed has been shown to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of osteoporosis. In vivo and in vitro experiments indicate that the bioactive compounds of the seed that appear to be effective against osteoporosis are kaempferol, hyperoside, and campesterol[
1769
Title
Therapeutic Anabolic and Anticatabolic Benefits of Natural Chinese Medicines for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
Publication
Front. Pharmacol. 10:1344. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Author
He J., Li X., Wang Z. et al
Website
http://10.3389/fphar.2019.01344
Publisher
 
Year
2019
ISBN
 
Description
 
]

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn, by lodging it among the stems of a host plant[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Seed - it needs to be sown close to a suitable host. Seed requires a minimum of 10°c to germinate, optimal germination is around 20 - 30°c, Some seed has a hard seed coat and will not germinate until this has gradually worn away, a process that can take a year or more[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Cuttings[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. Stem fragments - which can be detached and distributed intentionally or otherwise by humans, other animals or machinery - can produce new haustoria and attach themselves to a new host[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2024-03-03. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cuscuta+chinensis>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.