R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 404 (1810).
Synonymy: C. tepperiana Ludw. ex Tepper, Bot. Centralblatt 49:5 (1888); C. piligera Schldl., Linnaea 21:446 (1848).
Common name: Downy (or rusty) dodder-laurel, spilled devils twine, blackfellow twine.
Stems 0.5-2 mm thick, smooth to rugulose, pubescent, sometimes glabrescent with age, yellow-green, grey-green or reddish; haustoria ellipsoid, 2-3 x 1-2 mm; leaves either ovate-peltate, 1.5-4 x 1-2 mm, honey-green and pubescent to glabrescent, or triangular, basifixed, c. 1.5 x c. 1 mm and drying dark-brown.
Inflorescence mostly single, often paired, sometimes fasciculate, 2-15-flowered spikes, on peduncles 3-30 x 0.5-1 mm, white-pubescent; bracts and bracteoles verticillate, rarely in 2 planes when the bracteoles are remote from the bract, ovate, 0.7-1 x 0.5-0.8 mm, mostly narrower than wide, peltate, reflexed, often pubescent on both sides with grey, yellow or red hairs; sepals triangularovate, acute, pubescent to glabrescent, ciliate, honey-yellow to brown, black in fruit, sometimes sunken in a glandular ring; petals ovate to obovate, 1-2 x 1-1.5 mm, pubescent, hairs mostly grey but sometimes black, yellow or red, short or long, patent or appressed; fertile stamens 9, white; staminodes pyramidal-cordate, c. 0.5 mm long, with (not in S.Aust.) a more or less conspicuous white apical gland; glands of the inner stamens ovoid, about two-thirds of the size of the staminodes; ovary pubescent.
Fruit globose, 6-8 x 5-6 mm when dried, 1.5-2 mm wider when fresh, green-grey, pubescent with indumentum white and red mixed.
||Cassytha pubescens. A, flower; B, fruit; C 1-3, stamens; D, staminode; E, glands; F, ovary; G, stone; H, leaf; I, stem with young shoot.
Image source: fig 194 in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
S.Aust.: EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE. Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.. ?New Zealand.
Flowering time: Dec. — April; fruits developing from March and mostly shed by Dec.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
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