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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 16 | Convolvulaceae | Cuscuta

1. Cuscuta australis R. Brown, Prodr. 491. 1810.

南方菟丝子 nan fang tu si zi

Cuscuta hygrophilae Pearson; C. kawakamii Hayata; C. millettii Hooker & Arnott; C. obtusiflora Kunth var. australis Engelmann.

Stems golden, thin, ca. 1 mm in diam. Inflorescences lateral, compact cymose glomerules, few to many flowered, subsessile; bracts scaly. Pedicel 1-2.5 mm. Calyx cupular, ca. as long as corolla tube; sepals 3-5, oblong or circular, often unequal, 0.8-1.8 mm, apex rotund. Corolla white or creamy white, cupular, ca. 2 mm; lobes persistent, erect, ovate or oblong. Stamens inserted at sinus, shorter than lobes; scales shorter than tube, deeply 2-cleft, fimbrillate. Ovary depressed globose. Styles 2, equal or unequal in length; stigmas globose. Capsule enclosed by persistent corolla, depressed-globose, 3-4 mm in diam., irregularly opening, not circumscissile. Seeds 4, brownish, ovoid, ca. 1.5 mm, scabrous.

Often on herbaceous or shrubby plants such as Fabaceae, Asteraceae (Artemisia), Verbenaceae (Vitex); 100-2000 m. Widespread in China: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang , Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Asia, Australia, Europe]

The whole plant and the seeds have a number of medicinal uses.

According to Kamelin (in litt.), the specimens identified as Cuscuta australis require further study. Possibly two or three species are combined in this description, one of them, probably C. cesatiana Berthol, which perhaps represents the material from Xinjiang.


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