Tuesday, July 14, 2009

California Dodder

Ever been driving in southern california and seen this by the side of the road and wonder "what the hell is that?"

It is dodder http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/californiadodder.html a parasitic plant. Also known as witches' hair.

You can read more about it here http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plnov99.htm
Scroll down to where you see this beautiful girl.
It is a parasitic member of the morning glory family.

 I thought it was something else all together, I was wrong. And you don't want it in your garden either. It is fond of ivies.
I am curious about naturalized california plants, always have been. When it dries it dries to a beautiful orange straw like substance. I dried some. I am not taking it out of the bag now. I thought I was going to make it in to some mixed media. LOL!!! I am so glad that I looked it up, for the internet, and for smart people.
Mom, look at me, I am learning new things.


  1. That is some nasty stuff.... to other plants. When Richard was in Master Gardeners...they would call affectionately call it 'Love Vine' ...as it wraps itself around whatever it likes and squeezes the life out of it...lol! Once it gets started it is hard to stops...running amuck in the west and southwest... Richard and I use to stop and try to pull it off plants along side the road...but it got way to much to handle...
    We have a lot of it here in our desert... sucking whatever life it can find out of our already struggling plants...

    But it is pretty...like the Witch Hair name...never heard that one


  2. It is beautiful in a wierd kind of way though and the color is amazing.
    I like the way it looks like spokes in a wheel around the stem of the host plant. Now I realize though how it is murdering the plant.
    It is a strange and magical world we live in, isn't it?

  3. Okay, can we talk? I LOVE it that you gave me the name for this stuff. And so entertainingly! We've seen this on the roadsides, and we thought it looks kind of cool, other-worldly and everything, but we knew it was not friendly stuff.

    but also... couldn't it use a good brush-out?

  4. Oh Chris man could it use a good brush out!! LOL!!
    Otherworldly is a perfect description.
    Truth is stranger than fiction!!!

  5. Marie, I've seen that. It's pretty weird looking!

    We were in Murphy's Canyon all weekend. That's where our daughter and her family live. It's military housing there for the most part. But pretty. The one thing I noticed though is how dry everything is right now there. Usually it's pretty green and it wasn't. Still enjoyed it.

  6. Hi Marie, I've never been to California but great article! It's always something good to know about! Here in Ohio I've never seen anything like that before. Wow, it squeezes the life out of anything by it, that's something! But I'll bet the orange color is quite beautiful though! What a great name, "witches' hair" and a suiting one at that! After seeing that pretty lil girl with it on, how would it be called anything else.
    Have a wonderful rest of your day!
    Giant hugs to you...

  7. So right Marie...the color is amazing and it seems to vary...from a lighter to much darker mustard yellow...at least around here...a wickedly wonderful world we do live in.. filled with all kinds of COOL Stuff.....


  8. Donna cool compaired to you, eh? Yeah, it is brown already, I hope no fires for us this year.

  9. Thanks Bobbi you can visit a small part through this blog then. I have some wildflower pictures to share too. It is scrubby here where I live with rolling hills and sage brush, wild rosemary, and oak and eucalyptus. Dry and brown this time of year. We also have Dodder. LOL!!! I wonder if it has some medicinal use? I couldn't find any though.

  10. Jodi it says that the lighter one is a different kind and there is even one that is called japanese dodder. But there is one particular to the desert areas.
    Who would have thunk it, really?
    This is I guess considered desert too, just doesn't seem like it compared to you.
    Dodder it sounds like something an old man would do ;-O

  11. oh wow!!! I have never ever seen that...that is pretty weird and pretty neat...

    thank you for the sweet words on my blog....you are an angel!!!


  12. Marie! What happened to my comment earlier?

    Marie dear, but an onion makes me cry?

  13. ew, I agree that must be some nasty stuff. We have a vine here that takes over the roadsides, trees, railroad trestles, deserted houses....it's also some bad stuff. Kudzu vine...it's an alien plant and taking over the whole countryside.

  14. Lynda I have seen it. My dad has it by his house.
    It is also very beautiful in an *otherworldly way*. It had covered everything, I mean everything, along the road as we were driving to the beach and it looked like huge topiaries all in a row. Or one massive hedge 30 feet tall that went on forever.
    It will probably migrate here eventually, I would really rather have lightning bugs though.
    It is strange how something so beautiful can be so bad.

  15. I live in California San Diego and Dodder is all over, yes its a sight to see but its killing all plants even the ones that are medicinal purpose. this is an alian i tell you... there should be a bill to contanimate this type of plant specially for the farmers. this is my first time blogging.. i keep seeing this plant grow more all over each year...and wondered by some people get upset looking upon it.. when i did my research on the plan now i know why.. its a killer


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