These enenlies are as a rule so conspicuous that we do not look on their depredations as diseases, though the gradual deterioration of hay under the exhausting effects of root-parasites like Rhinanthus, and the onslaught of Cuscuta when unduly abundant, should teach us how unimportant to the definition the question of size may be.
The dodder is a genus (Cuscuta) of leafless parasites with slender thread-like twining stems. The flowers stand singly in the leaf-axils or form few or many flowered cymose inflorescences; the flowers are sometimes crowded into small heads.
Cuscuta has a thread-like, spirally twisted embryo with no trace of cotyledons.
Cuscuta contains nearly too species in the warmer and temperate regions; two are native in Britain.
Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed) is a pest in fields and gardens on account of its wide-spreading underground stem, and many of the dodders (Cuscuta) cause damage to crops.
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