5. Cuscuta gigantea Griff. in Not. Plant. Asiat. 1:243. 1847. Engel in Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 1: 516. 1859; Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4: 225. 1883; Yuncker, l.c. 255. 1932; in Rech. f. 1.c. S. 1964; Stewart, l.c. 579.1972; Shishkin, Fl. UASS (English translation) 19: 75. 1974.
M.T.M. RAJPUT & S.S. TAHIR
Stem thick, brown to dark brown, not interlaced, making many spirals around the host stem. Leaves broadly elliptical or off thick, fleshy, 1.5-2 x 1.3-2 mm. Flowers arranged in short racemes or spikes sessile, 6-9 mm long; bracts leaf-like; calyx lobes 5, very compactly encircling the corolla tube, ovate, obtuse, fleshy, thick at the base, margin slightly scarious, overlapping. at the middle, dentate or entire, 2-3 x 1-2 mm; tube 1-2 mm long. Corolla lobes 5, 4-6 x 0.8-12 mm, oblong obtuse, inflexed, shorter than tube, without reticulate pattern, tube 3.5-5 mm long; scales ovate, finnbriated with numerous short processes, scarious, to fleshy, 1-4.5 mm long. Stamen 5, sessile, free, filament obsolete, fused filament prominent in the petals, anther oblong, attached below the sinuses, 1.2-1.6 mm long. Ovary globose, yellow-brown, fleshy, tapering into a subulate, c. 4 m long style; stigma 2, oblong, tips light green, 1-12 mm long; ovules 2, orbicular, brown, c. 8 mm in diameter. Capsule, 5 -6 x 4-5 mm, globose-conical, c. cartilagnous, circumacissile near the base with a definite line of cleavage. Seeds 2-ugly one matures, glossy, reniform or orbicular, brown-black, smooth, a. 1.5-1.7-mm in diameter.
Syntypes: Afghanistan, Siah-Sung ravine, alt. 10,300 ft., Griffith 1032, 683 (K).
Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia (Samarkand - Bokhara).
This species is close to Cuscuta reflexa, but can be separated by its sessile stamens and well-developed style. It is also related to Cuscuta lehmanniana, but distinguished by its 4-6 mm long petals whereas in Cuscuta lehmanniana they are 1.5-1.7 mm long.