Thumbnail Image
Nattrass, R. M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Dodder is the popular name given to members of a group of parasitic plants belonging to the genus CUSCUta. There are more dun 100 species, some of which are represented in most countries of the: world, and a number are distributed throughout Africa. They are all small annual, or rarely perennial, climbing plants which are parasitic on a wide range of plants and alt are characterized by twining leafless stems and tight clusters of small flowers. Each species is restricted to a narrow range of host plants, but some are more catholic in their tastes than other and attack a number of genera. The best known species is C. trifolii which commonly attacks clover and Lucerne in Great Britain. But has also been found on other leguminous crops, as well as potatoes, beet, carrots etc. In Africa the .species attacking clover and Lucerne is C. chinensis which is also widely distributed throughout the warmer parts of Asia, China and Australia. Two common species on wild plants in Kenya are C. planillflora and C. obtusiflora. The species which attacks flax is C. epilillum, which, as far as is known does not attack any other plant except hemp and species of Camelina. This latter plant is, a common weed in flax fields. C. epilinum is not a native of Africa but a comparatively recent introduction.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 6 (4), p. 183-187