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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Cuscuta californica

Cuscuta californica Hook. & Arn.

California Dodder, Chaparral Dodder

Cuscutaceae (Dodder family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Cuscuta spp. are parasitic on a variety of other plants.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Vine
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Forms mats atop and around host plants, resembling a pile of yellowish orange straw.
Leaf: Leaves of Cuscuta spp. may be absent, or so small and scale-like that they go unnoticed.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Habitat: Grasslands, chaparral, pine forests, roadsides, parasitic on herbs and shrubs.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cuscuta californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cuscuta californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cuscuta californica


Record Modified: 2020-12-21
Research By: CBR

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