Yellow Dodder - Cuscuta campestris

Alternative names
Field Dodder
Golden Dodder

Cuscuta species have a very distinct appearance, consisting mainly of leafless, smooth, yellow or orange twining stems and tendrils, with inconspicuous scales in the place of leaves. C. campestris has yellow to pale orange true stems, about 0.3 mm in diameter, which generally do not twine and attach to the host, but produce tendrils of similar appearance which form coils and haustoria - a specialised root-like sucker which penetrates another plant (a host) and obtains water and nutrients from it. Flowers are white or greenish, aggregated in groups of 3 to 8 in spreading inflorescences, cymose (flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the uppermost flowers open first).

Similar Species

other Cuscuta species (Dodder) have been recorded in the past in VC55, but there are no recent records for these

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

This is an uncommon species in our area, so please include images to support your records.


Cuscuta campestris attacks a wide range of naturalised species and native plants that are growing in grasslands, open woodlands, gardens, degraded land, riparian zones (banks of watercourses) and wetlands.

When to see it

Flowering in summer and autumn.

Life History

An alien, annual parasitic plant.

UK Status

Widespread, but infrequent and local in England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. The East Langton record of 17th October 2020 may be only the second record from our area.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map