Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Cuscuta pacifica
salt marsh dodder

Distribution: British Columbia to Baja California.

Habitat: Coastal marshes and saltwater tideflats.

Flowers: June-October

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Parasitic, twining, perennial herbs, with very slender, pinkish-yellow to white glabrous stems, often forming large mats.


Leaves reduced to tiny scales.


Flowers in few-flowered, loose clusters on pedicels 2-4 mm. long; calyx fleshy at the base, about equal to the corolla tube, the 5 lobes ovate-lanceolate, pointed; corolla 2.5-4.5 mm. long, the tube narrowly bell-shaped, the 5 erect lobes broadly lanceolate, acuminate, nearly entire, about equal to the tube; stamens 5, inserted just below the sinuses; poorly developed, narrowly-oblong scales cover the base of the filaments; styles 2, 1 mm. long, ovary 2-celled, superior.


Capsule globose-ovoid, crested just below the base of the styles.

Accepted Name:
Cuscuta pacifica Costea & M.A.R. Wright
Publication: Systematic Botany, 34(4):787–795. 2009.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Cuscuta salina Engelm., misapplied [HC, HC2]
Cuscuta salina Engelm. var. major Yunck., misapplied [KZ99]
Cuscuta salina Engelm. var. salina, misapplied [KZ99]
Cuscuta subinclusa Durand & Hilg. var. abbreviata Engelm.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cuscuta pacifica in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Cuscuta pacifica checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Cuscuta pacifica atlas page.

CalPhotos: Cuscuta pacifica photos.

USDA Plants: Cuscuta pacifica information.

21 photographs:
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