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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Lauraceae
Cassytha melantha

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 404 (1810).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Strangle vine, devils twine, large (or coarse) dodder-laurel,

Pubescent at least in part; stems 1-4 mm thick, glabrescent, green to reddish-green; young shoots pubescent; leaves triangular-ovate, basifixed or peltate, c. 1 x 0.8 mm, red-pubescent, turning black on drying; haustoria elliptic, 2-5 mm long.

Inflorescence a single or rarely clustered more or less elevated loose spike or rarely a raceme; peduncles 10-90 x c. 1 mm, usually darker than the stem, with short red and white retrorse hairs, 2-12-flowered; bracts verticillate, with short appressed hairs, triangular, c. 1 x 1.4 mm, drying black; bracteoles deltoid-ovate, c. 0.5 x 0.8 mm; flowers ovoid, 2-3 x 1.3-1.7 mm, subsessile or rarely pedicellate; pedicel inconspicuous; sepals deltoid, c. 1.2 x c. 1 mm, covered with short black and white hairs; petals ovate, 2-2.5 x c. 1.5 mm, acute, pubescent on both sides with short thick retrorse appressed black hairs, outside basally reddish indumentum is frequent; fertile stamens 9; staminodes obcordate, c. 0.7 x 0.4 mm, white, turning brown on drying; glands somewhat angular-ovate, c. 0.5 x c. 0.25 mm; ovary fusiform, c. 2 x 0.5 mm, glabrous; receptacular tube pubescent inside.

fruit globular, 10-15 mm diam., glabrescent, light-green to cream-white, drying black, 8-9 mm diam. when dry; stone globular, c. 0.5 mm diam., black.

image of FSA1_Cassytha_mel.jpg Cassytha melantha. A, flower; B, fruit; C, longitudinal section through fruit; D, haustorium; E, young shoot.
Image source: fig 191 in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 312.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NU, GT, FR, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: mainly June — Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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