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Cuscuta approximata
ALFALFA DODDER

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ConvolvulaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MORNING-GLORY FAMILY
Habit: 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).
Genera In Family: 55--60 genera, 1600--1700 species: warm temperate to tropics; some cultivated for food or as ornamental (Ipomoea). Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CuscutaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: DODDER
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 180 species: cosmopolitan, especially warmer regions of western hemisphere and Polynesia. Etymology: (Aramaic, Hebrew; from the verb K-S-Y (Kaph, Shin, Yodh), to cover, from habit) Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea & Saša Stefanović

Cuscuta approximata Bab.
NATURALIZED
Inflorescence: head-like, flowers 8--40; pedicels generally 0. Flower: 3--4.2 mm, fleshy, not papillate, parts in 5s; calyx +- = corolla tube, bell-shaped, divided 1/3--1/2, veined, shiny, lobes widely triangular, bases overlapped, margins entire, tip with a short, obtuse, fleshy appendage; corolla tube 1.5--2 mm, bell-shaped (spheric or urn-shaped in fruit), scales +- reaching stamen bases, oblong to obovate, rounded, shallowly fringed in distal 1/2, lobes spreading, generally = tube, ovate-round, margins entire, tip obtuse, straight; filaments 0.3--0.5 mm, anthers exserted, 0.3--0.5 mm, ovate; styles 0.8--1.6 mm, stigmas elongate. Fruit: circumscissile, 1.5--2.3 mm, 1.6--2 mm wide, depressed-spheric, not thickened or raised around opening between styles, translucent, capped by corolla. Seed: 4, 0.9--1.1 mm, 0.6--0.75 mm wide, ovate to widely elliptic. Chromosomes: 2n=14,28.
Ecology: Uncommon. Esp on Fabaceae (e.g., alfalfa, clover); Elevation: generally < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoR, GV, MP; Distribution Outside California: to western Canada, Utah; Asia, Europe, northern Africa. Flowering Time: May--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea & Saša Stefanović
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Citation for this treatment: Mihai Costea & Saša Stefanović 2016. Cuscuta approximata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=21418, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 02, 2016.


Geographic subdivisions for Cuscuta approximata:
NCoR, GV, MP;
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.
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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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CCH collections by month

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