Devil's hair, Stranglevine, Devil's Guts, Hellbind, Witch's Shoelaces

All of these are common names for the genus Cuscuta, a group of plants often called dodders (Ombrello).  This web page focuses on the species Cuscuta pentagona.  Cuscuta pentagona is the most aggressive, widespread species of the genus Cuscuta (Cook, 2006).

Richard Old, XID Services, Inc.,

Cuscuta pentagona, most commonly called dodder, is a parasitic plant that is known for its harm to plants from gardens to commercial crops.  You may have seen this pest in your own garden.  Cuscuta pentagona is native to most of the United States and Canada.

This plant has a sense of smell.  Dodder uses this smelling to detect nearby plants so it can parasitize them.  It is not known how this sixth-sense, so to say, works, but Cuscuta pentagona definitely has the nose to locate and pick host plants.

Rachel Neve

Topics that will be discussed on the website are: Classification, Habitat, Adaptation, Nutrition, Reproduction, Interactions, and a special Halloween themed Spooky Story.  Information about my sources can be found in References.  For information about me and the background of this web page, go to Contact Me.

Web pages for other organisms can be found at