Intertidal Organisms EZ-ID GUIDES


on this species


Cuscuta salina (Saltmarsh dodder)

photo of saltmarsh dodder
Copyright © 20056 Mary Jo Adams


Because of its unique appearance, salt marsh dodder is easy to identify.  Lacking leaves and chlorophyll, this species looks like yellow or orange dental floss entwined around pickleweed (Salicornia virginica) and other salt marsh plants which serve as its parasitic hosts.  Dodder does produce flowers and seeds.  It flowers in this area from June until August.  When the seeds germinate, the sprouts must seek and find a host plant within a few days or will die.  This species is native to the Pacific Northwest.  Another common name for it is alkali dodder.  Some scientists place dodder in the morning glory family, others separate it off into its own family.      


This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 8/22/06.



photo of saltmarsh dodder flowers