Japanese dodder
Cuscuta japonica Choisy


Cuscuta japonica is an annual, parasitic vine that has recently been introduced into the United States. It is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed.
The many-branching stems are fleshy, circular, and pale yellow with red spots and striations. Leaves are minute and scale-like.
Flowers are abundant, pale yellow, and sessile.
Fruits are capsules that are ovoid and 0.2 in. (5 mm) in diameter. The seeds are brown and grouped with 1 to 3 seeds per capsule.
Ecological Threat
Many species of dodder, some native and some exotic, occur in the United States. Cuscuta japonica parasitizes host plants by penetrating the vascular tissue of the host with structures called haustoria. Severe infestations can kill host plants. It is native to Asia and several infestations have recently been found in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Cuscutaceae
Genus: Cuscuta
Subject: Cuscuta japonica Choisy


Plants - Vines