Nov. 24, 2020

smartweed dodder, Cuscuta polygonorum

Dodder; to progress feebly or unsteadily.  Did the plant come first, or the symptoms?  Doesn't matter.  These orange stems do progress in a manner that fits the description.  They go every which way as the infest their hosts.  Every which way but down.  As soon as they locate a victim, they shed their roots and become completely parasitic.  When they sprout the do not dodder around aimlessly.  They literally sniff out their hosts.  They are able to sense aromatic compounds released by other plants, and can follow those to their ultimate hosts.  Smartweed dodder grows on smartweeds and a few other species in AR, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD(E), ME, MI(SC), MN, MO, ND, NE, NJ, NY(E), OH, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, WI, ON, and QC.  Lenawee Co MI, 11/24/20.  Morning-glory family, Convolvulaceae.