Fear at first glimpse

Native dodder on Rusellia

As I was walking through the nursery today, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. It made  my head and heart start to race. My brain struggled to come up with the name of what I was looking at. I knew it started with a “D”. Should I move it? Would it spread worse if I did? Maybe we should, bringing a garbage bag to it, instead of it to the garbage.The causes/reasons, effects, repercussions, and solutions of illegal dumping  are the essential facts we all should know before disposing wastes. A thousand thoughts…it starts with a “D”…over and over again.  I ran for Google. Enter “Noxious weed with no chlorophyll” …not what I want…”Noxious weed list” in my favorites…dang it…not there either. Finally, it comes to me. Dodder.

Why would a weed, with an odd name, strike panic in a nursery?  Next to Kudzu (which can smother a forest) Dodder  may be one of the worst weeds on the earth. This weed doesn’t need soil, has no true leaves, is a true parasite and the seeds can lay dormant and viable for 20 years, making it a persistent foe. I consulted several web sites about what to do.We bagged the 2 infested plants, inspected all the nearby plants and searched the property for more. It seems to be a localized situation, but  we will keep on monitoring the plants and property. The grower we got the plants from, will be notified asap.

White flowers of dodder

Dodder weighing down branches


What you can do.

Our research found  a great article


This easy to read article provides loads of information on what dodder is, how it grows and how to control it. If you think you see it or have dodder growing in your yard and want confirmation,  email a picture to mary@rcwnurseries.com . Set your camera on “macro” and get close. The native variety is almost thread like and “macro” will give the clearest photo up close.  It is far easier to eradicate this monster if it is caught early. But persistence is the only cure.