help me ID new invasive in my savanna restoration

gibby2015July 30, 2014

Hi - I'm in MN and have about a six year old small savanna restoration in my former back "yard". We burned it this year for the first time and now have this weird invasive orange, leafless vine. I doubt it had anything to do with burning but I have never seen anything like this any where before. I don't have a picture but can take one later. It's a narrow, bright orange vine that has no leaves that I can see. It just grows over the top of other things including twisting itself tightly around stems of other plants. It's kind of sticky when you pull it off. I've just been pulling it off so far and haven't taken the time to poke around the ground to find the roots to eradicate this completely. Any ideas what this might be?

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Yikes!! I do think that's it. That stuff is nasty. Ours is pretty isolated but I can see that we really need to get this eradicated quickly before it spreads. Weird that it just suddenly appeared.

Thanks for the tip on what this is.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:39PM
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....and, the dodder you're seeing sounds to be the native type, which is almost never considered a problem in the natural landscape. It may be that the right thing to do is nothing. Also, not particularly able to "infest" most woody plants nor grasses.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:48AM
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I wonder how I can tell for sure if it's native. It's very orange and I've never seen it anywhere around here. For now I'll keep pulling oily off to keep it from spreading,

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:28AM
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Like I said, I've only seen it in photos, this may sound weird but I rather like it. Its funky looking, it has great texture and I like the orange color. I'd try to keep it and let it have its spot, maybe trim it if necessary.

The name is funny too. When people ask it would be fun to say "Thats my Dodder".

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 15:32

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:30PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Only way to be sure it is native would be to identify to species, which isn't easy with dodders. Requires close examination of the flowers and fruit. More than likely it is native given the description of it being orange. Probably Cuscuta gronovii which is the most common species.

Might help to understand the life history. Dodders are parasitic annuals, at least in temperate regions (they can be perennial in the tropics). They need to establish from seed each year and can only grow for a short time before finding a host, then they lose their roots and grow through the existing vegetation. They appear localized because they can only spread from plant to plant. Dodders are a natural component of grassland communities so you shouldn't be too concerned about it causing harm to the community, though you may want to control it for aesthetics.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Okay - I feel a little better about it not destroying my savanna plants that are now quite nice after six years. I don't like the looks of this myself so I'll just keep pulling it off but not worry too much about completely eradicating it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:47PM
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This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 18:50

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:49PM
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What a crazy plant!!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:22AM
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Well native or not this thing is nasty and I've been trying to eradicate it. Pulling everything off and cutting off or pulling out all the plants it's infested. It behaves just as described. You can cut off the part of the plant it's wrapped around but if it's already invaded the inside of the stem it grows from the inside out reappearing and producing seeds. It's in seed mode now so I'm inspecting every day and removing all visible evidence. It is localized so it's a limited area I'm inspecting fortunately. If it reappears in the spring I guess we will torch it or maybe we'll even torch the area this fall. Still wondering why this suddenly appeared when I've never seen it anywhere in my life.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:58AM
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