Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

SOLVED: Alien Plant from Outerspace??

(Zone 9a)

Hi everyone! I'm hoping someone can help I.D. a strange looking (plant?) that has invaded my columbine bed. I've never seen anything like it. I found it while cutting off old dead frawns, and it is very invasive. It is vinelike, bright neon yellow-orange in color, and wraps itself tightly around the stems of the frawns. The vine itself is very small in diameter, about the width of a sewing needle. Where it touches the plant, it seems to adhere to it so you can't pull it off the plant. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? If you cut it, it comes back very quickly and can cover a plant in a week or two with these micro tendriles. Any ideas as to what this is, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your help!!!

I'll move this over to the Identification forum.


(Zone 9a)

Thanks dave!

Northern Piedmont, NC(Zone 7b)

Ladyhawke, just checked my Weed book and it sounds like Dodder....a parasitic vine. In my book, it resembles a long, thin, orange worm with clusters of tiny white flowers here and there. Here's a link, but it hard to tell by their photo.


(Zone 9a)

Thanks Jean for your help! That's it exactly! So far it has only spread to two plants, and I didn't see any flowers. Perhaps, it wont reseed. I have given both plants butch haircuts, and have put discarded foliage in a ziplock in the trash. I'll keep a close watch on the columbine, and if I see any new growth, I will just pull the plants and discard them. Im kinda new to forums, and its nice to have a place where you can share info and ideas. Thanks again for your help!

Northern Piedmont, NC(Zone 7b)

You are welcome, Ladyhawke. I forgot to say, it usually blooms summer and fall. I'm glad your spotted it early and it seems like the haircut was your only choice...hope your columbines spring back and you have no more Dodder seeds appear! Oh yes, welcome to Dave's!!

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Wow, that stuff sounds pretty scarey! You could make a movie on that concept of that desciption.

Welcome Ladyhawke. It's nice to be able to post here and have your questions answered so you can at least find a start to the answers you need.

Goodluck with this stuff. Keep us posted as to what happens with it.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I hate that stuff. It got in my fuschia plant a couple summers ago. Ugh. It never bloomed, either. My poor fuschia didn't make it - I didn't get it cut back soon enough and it was pretty well sapped. Grrrrrr. Creepy is right!

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Apparently this is our only beneficial parasitic plant - don't ask me why, but here's a link:-


Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Does economically important mean beneficial? It didn't state any benefits the weed provides. Maybe it means it is important in a negative way like as in very important to try to control it. I don't know, just a thought.

(Zone 9a)

Now that I know the name of the thing (THANKS JEAN!!), I've been searching the net for more information on it.
It is kinda beautiful in a delicate sort of way, but too destructive to have in a garden. While acting as a viral agent, it does have some merit, I guess, as an anti-inflamatory. I also learned that American Indians used the plants in a bath for the treatment of tuberculosis. In any case Ill keep you guys updated on the war to eradicate it from my garden. Catcha later!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.