Rosy Dodder
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Rosy Dodder
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Rosy Dodder • Ladakhi: ཨམརལཏཱ Amarlata
Botanical name: Cuscuta capitata    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Anthanema capitata, Cuscuta rosea

Rosy Dodder is a distinctive, slender parasitic plant with rose colored flowers. Stem is thin, brown to violet, making a few spirals around the host stem. Leaves are oblong-elliptical, blunt, 1.5-2 x 0.7-1 mm. Flowers are rose-colored, borne in cymes or rarely one at each node, covered with tiny nipple-like projections, stalkless, 2.5-3 mm long. Bracts are leaf-like. Sepals are 4, 1.5-3 x 0.8-1 mm, oblong-lanceshaped, mostly pointed or sometimes pointed blunt, slightly fleshy below, scarious above, mostly unequal, tube 0.5-1 mm long. Petals are four, 2-3 x 0.5-1 mm, oblong-lanceshaped, pointed, papillate, semi-fleshy, ivory white, tips slightly yellow; tube 1.5-2 mm long. Stamens are 4, filament linear, shorter than flower tube, membranous, about 0.2 mm long. Ovary is globular, fleshy, thin. The apical projection of the ovary is frequently confused with styles. Rosy Dodder is chiefly found growing on low herbs. It is found in Pakistan (Chitral), Kashmir, Ladakh, Zanskar, Afghanistan, N-India, Tajikistan, at altitudes of 2000-4000 m.

Identification credit: Miguel A. Garcia Photographed in Leh, Ladakh.

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