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Small-tooth Dodder Back to Plant Page
Cuscuta denticulata

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About Small-tooth Dodder (Cuscuta denticulata) Cuscuta denticulata (desert dodder or small-toothed dodder) is a thin, yellow to orange, parasitic annual vine in the morning glory family (Convulvulaceae), native to the deserts of Southwestern America. Growth pattern. It is an annual plant that grows as a very thin orange-ish parasitic vine, with clumping twinings around the host stems. It parasitizes the host by sending small, short-lived rootlets (haustoria) into its tissues, from which it absorbs moisture and nutrients. Leaves and stems. Yellow to orange stems are without hairs, with minute scale-like leaves. Inflorescence and fruit. It blooms from May to October with tiny spikes of clusters of miniature white, 5-parted bell shaped flowers. Corolla lobes are bend back, with overlapping calyx lobes. Both calyx and corolla have fine teeth on their margins, hence the species name and common name. Fruits are conical capsules. Habitat and range. It grows up to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert into Baja California. It parasitizes plants of the creosote bush scrub and Joshua tree woodland communities, such as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and cheesebush (Ambrosia salsola).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Vine, Annual herb

Flower Color
Yellow, White, Orange

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
462' - 5887'

Annual Precip. ?
3.4" - 16.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.34" - 2.50"

Coldest Month ?
36.5° F - 61.4° F

Hottest Month ?
66.5° F - 88.8° F

Humidity ?
3.50 vpd - 42.79 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Dwarf Brodiaea, Desert Dodder

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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