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Cassytha filiformis

Cassytha filiformis L.

 

Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderLauralesTrees and shrubs, including bay laurels, cinnamon, avocado, sassafras and others
FamilyLauraceaeLaurel family, mostly tropical evergreens
GenusCassythaFrom kesatha, Aramaic for “a tangled wisp of hair.”
SpeciesfiliformisThread-like

About plant names...

The common name “lovevine” comes from an old myth about this vine’s purported aphrodisiac qualities. Love vine is parasitic, wrapping around other plants and drawing nutrients from them. That’s why it isn’t green: no need for chlorophyll when you can rob water and nutrients from surrounding plants and let them do the hard work of photosynthesis for you. (There are many more parasitic species, among them other dodders and mistletoe.)

From Cassytha filiformis, a comprehensive report by Scot C. Nelson of the Department of Plant and Environmental Pro­tection Services in Hawaii:

“Cassytha filiformis is, depending on one’s perspective, a blessing or a bane. It is a

  • plant treasured by Hawaiians for its traditional use as a light-hearted or ceremonial human ornament and in decorative garlands and lei
  • valued plant in traditional societies with diverse healing applications and with promise for modern medicine
  • food plant for humans and animals
  • vine used in thatched roof construction
  • potential biological control agent for invasive plants
  • pestiferous and pathogenic weed that is a threat to agriculture and endangered plants and is capable of transmitting other pathogens between plants.”

Plants: The vines are green to orange, tough and woody, and threadlike. They entwine and encirle other plants in thick shaggy masses.

Leaves: Leaves are sparse, scale-like, and lanceolate. They are ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm) long..

Flowers: Flowers are sparse, about ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm) in size, and sessile (attached directly to the vines). They are greenish-white, and urn-shaped, with three tepals.

Fruits: ~³/₁₆" (5-6 mm), nearly round, somewhat pearly in appearance.

Medical: Several compounds in this species have potential medical applications, such as ocoteine, a possible inhibitor of certain cancers. Unsubstantiated folk uses include treat­ment of jellyfish stings, as an aid while delivering babies, and treatment of gonorrhea.

Online References:

Cassytha filiformis on tropical.theferns.info

Cassytha filiformis at the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at Mānoa (PDF)

Cassytha filiformis at cabi.org’s Invasive Species Compendium

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/13/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Cassytha filiformis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 11 Jul 2019.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/12/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/12/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 6 × 3½" (14 × 9.6 cm)

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/12/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 6 × 3½" (14 × 9.6 cm)

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/12/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/12/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm)

Cassytha filiformis (Love-vine, Lovevine, Laurel Dodder, Woe Vine)

4/13/2015 · Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Range:

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