Cuscutaceae (Dumort.) Dumort.
This name is not current. Find out more information on related names.
Common name. Dodder Family.
Family Sometimes included in Convolvulaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Parasitic herbaceous climbers. Plants of very peculiar form (with threadlike, chlorophyll-less twining stems and short-lived root systems). Leaves much reduced. Plants rootless (in that the normal root system is ephemeral); totally parasitic. On aerial parts of the host. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Climbing; stem twiners (with haustoria). Leaves minute; alternate; spiral; membranous; sessile; non-sheathing; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire. Leaves without stipules. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers small; regular; (3–)5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6, or 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx (3–)5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; imbricate. Corolla (3–)5; 1 -whorled; appendiculate (with lobed or fringed scales alternating with the stamens); gamopetalous; valvate; regular; white, or pink. Androecium 5, or 10 (if the scales alternating with the stamens are interpreted as staminodes). Androecial members adnate (to the corolla tube); free of one another; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled (i.e. including the scales). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes (in the form of lobed or fimbriate scales). Staminodes 5. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; alternisepalous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious, or synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Styles 2; free, or partially joined; apical. Stigmas dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation basal. Ovules 2 per locule; ascending; anatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy, or fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules splitting irregularly (or opening by a transverse slit). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 0 (or scarcely recognisable as such). Embryo chlorophyllous (1/4); curved, or coiled. Seedling. Germination type inapplicable in the absence of cotyledons.
Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: cosmopolitan. X = 7, 15. 170 species.
Publication or other use of content on this site is unauthorised unless that use conforms with the copyright statement.