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Dodder is a parasitic plant. This means that it lives off of other plants. In fact, Dodder cannot live on its own. It is found all over San Diego County this time of year. It is called "Witches Hair" around here.

There are many different species of Dodder, and they can be very difficult to tell apart. Dodder also has many nicknames, including Love Vine, Witches' Shoelaces, Hairweed, and Devilguts.

Dodder is almost always yellowish-orange and looks a lot like spaghetti.

Dodder is most often seen in marshes, roadsides, fields, and thickets.

Dodder has no leaves, and it only has roots in the very beginning of its life.

This plant grows from seed and sprouts from the ground like any other plant. It immediately reaches its stem, looking for a host plant to latch onto. The Dodder seedling can survive for about 10 days. If it doesn't attach to a host plant in this time, it will die.

Once the Dodder seedling finds a host plant, it quickly twines itself around the plant's stem. Dodder always twines in a counter-clockwise direction. Next, Dodder will lose its connection to the ground. It now totally depends upon its host.

The way Dodder survives is by little bumps on its stem, called "haustoria." Since Dodder wraps so tightly around its host, the haustoria are pressed up agains the host plant's stem. They will then actually push their way into the stem. Through its haustoria, Dodder can pull nutrients that it needs to survive from the host plant. Dodder rarely kills its host plant, although it will stunt its growth.

Since Dodder has no chlorophyll (also what makes plants green), it cannot make its own food like most plants.
Más vale pocos pelos, pero bien peinados.


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