Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Cuscuta

View taxon page for Cuscuta

(For a list of species in Cuscuta, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Styles 2, fused (Subg. Monogynella)

2' Style < stigmas. (Extirpated) ..... [C. reflexa]

1' Styles 2, free

3. Stigmas elongate; calyx abruptly narrowed to short, fleshy appendage (Subg. Cuscuta) ..... C. approximata

3' Stigmas spheric to widely ; calyx  not narrowed to appendage (Subg. Grammica)

4. Corolla scales 0

5. Corolla lobes 1/3–1/2 tube, ovate-triangular, tips incurved ..... C. jepsonii

5' Corolla lobes 3/4 to > tube, narrowly  to lanceolate, tips not incurved

6. Styles 0.5–1(1.5) mm; anthers 0.25–0.5 mm, wide-elliptic; fruit translucent, surrounded by corolla ..... C. occidentalis

6' Styles 1.2–3 mm; anthers 0.7–1.1 mm,  to ; fruit not translucent, ± enclosed by corolla (top not or barely visible)

7. Calyx 1/2–1/4 corolla tube; corolla lobes <= tube; filaments 0.2–0.6 mm ..... C. brachycalyx

7' Calyx 3/4 to = corolla tube; corolla lobes >= tube; filaments 0.6–1.1 mm ..... C. californica

8. Ovary, fruit ovoid-conic, tip pointed; seed 1 ..... var. apiculata

8' Ovary, fruit spheric to spheric-depressed; seeds (1)2–4

9. Perianth dense-papillate ..... var. papillosa

9' Perianth, pedicels not  ..... var. californica

4' Corolla scales present

10. Corolla scales generally reduced, shallowly finely  (rarely 2-lobed, ±  into 1–3 short units on each side of filaments) ..... C. suksdorfii

10' Corolla scales well developed, fringed

11. Calyx, corolla  tips dissimilar, calyx lobe tips obtuse to rounded, corolla lobe tips 

12. Calyx 1/2–3/4 corolla tube. (Extirpated) ..... C. suaveolens

12' Calyx generally ± = corolla tube ..... C. campestris

11' Calyx, corolla lobe tips similar, both either acute to long-acuminate or obtuse to rounded

13. Calyx, corolla lobes obtuse to rounded

14. Calyx veined, shiny; calyx, corolla lobes finely dentate; seeds 1, spheric to spheric-ovoid ..... C. denticulata

14' Calyx not veined, not shiny; calyx, corolla lobes  or calyx lobes finely ; seeds (1)2–4

15. Flower parts in (3s)4s(5s); fruit capped by corolla ..... C. cephalanthi

15' Flower parts in (4s)5s; fruit surrounded by corolla. (Extirpated) ..... C. obtusiflora var. glandulosa

13' Calyx, corolla lobes acute to long-acuminate

16. Corolla lobe tips incurved ..... C. indecora var. indecora

16' Corolla lobe tips straight or  but not incurved

17. Embryo enlarged on 1 end

18. Flowers 1–2(5), (2.8)3–4(5) mm; calyx lobes lanceolate, ± entire; anthers 0.4–0.7 mm, filaments (0)0.1–0.3 mm; desert, on shrubs in Atriplex, Ambrosia, Psorothamnus, Xylorhiza ..... C. nevadensis

18' Flowers (1)2–5, 1.9–3.2 mm; calyx lobes oblong to obovate-rhombic, ± irregularly finely dentate; anthers 0.3–0.4 mm, filaments 0.2–0.4 mm; desert, on Bursera, Schinus. (Extirpated) ..... C. veatchii

17' Embryo not enlarged on 1 end

19. Flower 5–7(9) mm; calyx generally 1/2 corolla tube, lobe bases overlapped; corolla lobes 1/4–1/3 tube; anthers 0.8–2 mm ..... C. subinclusa

19' Flower 2.5–5(6) mm; calyx generally ± = corolla tube, lobe bases generally not overlapped; corolla lobes generally ± = tube; anthers 0.3–0.7 mm

20. Flowers in host inflorescence, parts in 4s(5s); calyx, corolla lobes  to long-acuminate; fruit spheric to spheric-depressed, not thickened, not raised around opening between styles; seeds 1–4 ..... C. howelliana

20' Flowers not in host inflorescence, parts in 5s; calyx, corolla lobes acute to acuminate; fruit elliptic-ovoid, ± thickened, ± raised around opening between styles; seeds 1–2

21. Pedicels (0.5)1–5 mm; flower 2.5–4.5 mm; corolla tube ± , lobes  to , ovate- to lance-oblong; inland salt flats ..... C. salina

21' Pedicels 0.5–2 mm; flower 3.5–6 mm; corolla tube bell-shaped, lobes spreading to , widely ; coastal salt marshes, interdune depressions, tidal flats ..... C. pacifica

22. Pedicels, calyx papillate; interdune depressions ..... var. papillata

22' Pedicels, calyx not papillate; coastal salt marshes, tidal flats ..... var. pacifica



Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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