Orange Yellow Threads - Is this fungi or lichen?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Bebesmom, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Bebesmom

    Bebesmom Active Member

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    Location:
    Wenatchee - Eastern Slope of the Cacades, WA
    In the arid eastern slope of the Cascades, a strange plant has arrived this year. At least it's the first time I've seen it. It looks like an air plant and latches onto the sage and desert plants on the hillsides and slopes (I live in the foothills). It looks like rice threads, is a saffron color, and sticky. It clusters around the bottom of various plants and grows until it submerges the original plant. I would like to know if anyone has any ideas and whether there is a danger that this plant could invade the yard and what, if any, effect it has on the "host" plant.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Neither, I believe. It sounds like a parasitic vascular plant known commonly as dodder (there are a few possibilities in central Washington as to which species it is).

    Have a look through these images of Cuscuta
     
  3. Bebesmom

    Bebesmom Active Member

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    Location:
    Wenatchee - Eastern Slope of the Cacades, WA
    The picture of the cuscuta dodder is exactly right. Can this parasite attack yard plants or does it like a particular host? Thanks for identifying it - I felt like we were being invaded by an alien.
     

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