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Useful Temperate Plants

Cuscuta europaea

L.

Convolvulaceae

+ Synonyms

Cassytha major Gray

Cuscuta brachystyla K.Koch

Cuscuta capillaris Edgew.

Cuscuta epicnidea Bernh.

Cuscuta epitriphyllum Bernh.

Cuscuta filiformis Lam.

Cuscuta halophila Engelm.

Cuscuta halophyta Fr.

Cuscuta hyalina Boiss. ex Engelm.

Cuscuta indica (Engelm.) Petrov ex Butkov

Cuscuta ligustri Aresch.

Cuscuta major Gilib.

Cuscuta schkuhriana Pfeiff.

Cuscuta segetum Rota

Cuscuta solani Holuby

Cuscuta tetrandra Moench

Cuscuta tetrasperma Jan ex Engelm.

Cuscuta tubulosa J.Presl & C.Presl

Cuscuta urceolata Stokes

Cuscuta urticae W.D.J.Koch & Schnizl.

Cuscuta viciae W.D.J.Koch & Schnizl.

Cuscuta vulgaris Gaterau

Cuscuta vulgaris Pers.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Cuscuta europaea is an annual climbing plant with slender stems that twine into the surrounding vegetation for support. The plant is a total parasite and does not produce chlorophyll, instead obtaining nutrients from a host plant by means of suckers[
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 plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
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

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
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

Widespread through most of temperate Europe and Asia, though seemingly absent from Korea and much of the Russian Far East; N. Africa - Morocco

Habitat

Open grassy localities, streamsides and hilly areas[ at elevations from 800 - 3,100 metres in 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


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. In Britain this species is found most commonly growing on the roots of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and hops (Humulus lupulus)[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
], whilst in China it is found mainly on plants in the families Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Amaranthaceae, though it can also be found on many other herbaceous plants[
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

The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, where it is considered to have a bitter, acrid and sweet taste with a heating potency[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
]. It is aphrodisiac, renal and a hepatic tonic, being used to increase semen, to treat pain in the wrist and limbs, vaginal/seminal discharge, polyuria, tinnitus and blurred vision[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

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+europaea>

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