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Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Robert E. Preston, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, subshrub, generally twining or trailing. Leaf: 0 or alternate. Inflorescence: cyme or flowers 1 in axils; bracts subtending flowers 0 or 2. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals (4)5, ± free, overlapping, persistent, often unequal; corolla generally showy, generally bell-shaped, ± shallowly 5-lobed, generally pleated and twisted in bud; stamens 5, epipetalous; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, each generally 2-ovuled, styles 1–2. Fruit: generally capsule. Seed: 1–4(6).
55–60 genera, 1600–1700 species: warm temperate to tropics; some cultivated for food or as ornamental (Ipomoea). [Stefanovic et al. 2003 Syst Bot 28:791–806] Monophyletic only if Cuscutaceae included, as treated here. Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet, Ipomoea hederacea Jacq. [Ipomoea nil L., misappl.], Ipomoea indica (Burm.) Merr. (including Ipomoea mutabilis Ker Gawl.), Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth, Ipomoea triloba L., all included in TJM (1993), not naturalized. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Stefanovic et al. 2002 Amer J Bot 89:1510–1522]

Key to Convolvulaceae


Mihai Costea & Saša Stefanović

Vine, annual (perennial herb if on perennial host), not in contact with ground, attached to, holoparasitic on host by many small, specialized roots (haustoria) along stem, generally glabrous. Stem: thread-like, ± green, yellow, orange, or ± red. Leaf: 0 or scale-like, alternate, ± 2 mm. Inflorescence: generally cyme, head- to panicle-like (flowers 1), subtended by 0–3 bracts. Flower: bisexual, radial, parts generally in 4s or 5s; calyx generally divided 2/5–3/5, persistent generally ± cream-white; corolla generally ± white, persistent (withered in fruit) or not, tube cup-shaped to cylindric, bulged or horizontally ridged below lobes or generally not, generally with scales subtending stamens, lobes alternate stamens, erect to reflexed; ovary superior, chambers 2, each 2-ovuled, styles 2, generally free, persistent, stigmas 2, generally spheric, persistent. Fruit: capsule, generally indehiscent to irregularly dehiscent (or circumscissile near base), spheric to ovoid, depressed or not, thickened and/or raised around generally inconspicuous opening between styles or not. Seed: 1–4; coat papillate when hydrated, honeycombed when dry, (rarely neither, with cells ± rectangular, in ± jigsaw-puzzle-like arrangement); embryo generally slender, 1–3-coiled.
± 180 species: cosmopolitan, especially warmer regions of western hemisphere and Polynesia. (Aramaic, Hebrew; to cover, from habit) [Costea & Stefanovic 2009 Syst Bot 34:570–579] By persistent, withered corolla, fruit may be "capped" (corolla on top of fruit), "surrounded" (fruit at least in part visible, corolla ± loosely around fruit), or "enclosed" (fruit not visible, corolla ± tightly around fruit). Cuscuta pentagona Engelm. excluded.
Unabridged etymology: (Aramaic, Hebrew; from the verb K-S-Y (Kaph, Shin, Yodh), to cover, from habit)
Unabridged references: [Costea et al. 2005 Brittonia 57:264–272; Costea et al. 2006 Sida 22:151–175, 177–195, 197–207, 209–225; Costea & Stefanovic 2009. Cuscuta jepsonii (Convolvulaceae), an invasive weed or an extinct endemic? Amer J Bot 96:1744–1750; Costea et al. 2009. Untangling the systematics of salt marsh dodders: Cuscuta pacifica a new segregate species from Cuscuta salina (Convolvulaceae). Syst Bot 34:787–795; Costea & Stefanovic. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of Cuscuta californica complex (Convolvulaceae) and a new species from New Mexico and Trans-Pecos. Syst Bot 34:570–579; Costea & Tardif 2006 Canad J Plant Sci 86:293–316]

Key to Cuscuta

C. brachycalyx (Yunck.) Yunck.
Inflorescence: panicle-like, flowers 1–9; pedicels 1–6 mm. Flower: 4.5–6 mm, not papillate, parts in 5s; calyx 1/4–1/2 corolla tube, bell- or cup-shaped, generally divided 2/3, not veined, not shiny when membranous or fleshy, lobes triangular-ovate, bases ± overlapped, margins entire, tip acute; corolla tube 2–3.5 mm, narrowly bell- to urn-shaped, bulged below lobes, scales 0, lobes erect, reflexed in age, <= tube, triangular-lanceolate, margins entire, tips acute, straight; anthers exserted, 0.7–1.1 mm, oblong to linear; styles 1.2–3 mm, >= ovary. Fruit: 1.6–2.3 mm, 1.8–2.5 mm wide, spheric, spheric-depressed or obovoid, tip not pointed, not thickened or raised around opening between styles, not translucent, enclosed by corolla (top not visible). Seed: 2–4, 0.9–1.4 mm, 0.9–1.2 mm wide, widely elliptic to obovate.
On herbs, chaparral, grassland, yellow-pine, red-fir forests; generally < 2500 m. California Floristic Province; to Oregon. Apr–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Cuscuta brachycalyx var. apodanthera (Yunck.) Yunck.]

Previous taxon: Cuscuta approximata
Next taxon: Cuscuta californica


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Apr 2 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Cuscuta, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Apr 2 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Cuscuta brachycalyx Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.