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Useful Temperate Plants

Cuscuta umbellata

Kunth

Convolvulaceae

+ Synonyms

Cuscuta desertorum Mart. ex Engelm.

Cuscuta fasciculata Yunck.

Grammica umbellata (Kunth) Hadac & Chrtek

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Cuscuta umbellata is a 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.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
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

1171
Title
Flora del Bajío y de Regiones Adyacentes
Publication
 
Author
Jerzy Rzedowski & Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Instituto de Ecología A.C. Centro Regional del Bajío; Mexico
Year
0
ISBN
0188-5170
Description
Spanish-language flora of northwestern Mexico. It can be downloaded from the Internet

Range

Americas - Colorado, south to southern Mexico; Florida and through the Caribbean to Trinidad; Panama,Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas, NE Brazil

Habitat

Parasitic on Polygala spp, Atriplex spp, Suaeda spp, Alternanthera spp, Amaranthus spp and Euphorbia spp in N. Arizona. Grasslands, areas of halophilic vegetation, by lakes etc; at elevations from 1,750 - 2,400 metres[
1171
Title
Flora del Bajío y de Regiones Adyacentes
Publication
 
Author
Jerzy Rzedowski & Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Instituto de Ecología A.C. Centro Regional del Bajío; Mexico
Year
0
ISBN
0188-5170
Description
Spanish-language flora of northwestern Mexico. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Properties

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

Cultivation Details

Cuscuta umbellata is found from the warm temperate zone of southwestern N. America to the tropics of the Caribbean and northern S. America.
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[
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

Seed. Parched and ground into a meal[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].

Medicinal

None known

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 that is being grown in a pot in the greenhouse[
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. 2024-07-13. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cuscuta+umbellata>

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