Click on images to enlarge. Linnaeus, C. Type: India, Illustration Rheede, Hort. Fide J. Weber, J. Adelaide Bot.

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Lazarus Island, Feb Tiny flowers on short stalk. Pulau Semakau, Dec Small globular berries. Pulau Semakau, Apr Pulau Hantu, Apr Make your own badge here. Buy in Singapore Nature's Niche books, gifts, optics. This long hair-like plant is often seen draped in green or golden tangles on seaside shrubs and small trees. According to Giesen, It can sometimes smother the host so densely that the latter is scarcely visible. More rarely seen inland, for example in dwarf swamp forests.

It is found on all tropical shores and common throughout Southeast Asia. Sometimes recognised as a separate family, the Cassythaceae. According to Hsuan Keng, it is common in open bushes by the sea including Changi.

Features: A semi-parasitic plant, it has long stems m that grows in a tangle on host plants, green or yellow. The thin smooth stems do not root, they attach to the host by suckers. They are hollow, cylindrical and dark green to reddish-or yellowish-brown. It latches onto a wide variety of hosts some describe it as being "totally indiscriminate in host choice" , relying on the host for physical support, water and nutrients.

There are no visible leaves. The flowers are tiny 1. Fruits are small, round, juicy white berries 7mm that are eaten and dispersed by birds. Cuscuta australis looks similar and is also a semi-parasite. But it has flowers in a globular cluster not on a stalk and it tends to scramble on the ground. While Cassytha filiformis seems to prefer woody hosts and so tends to drape on taller shrubs and trees.

Human uses: According to Burkill, the dried, powdered stems are used in hair tonic. While it may not do any good, the use is possibly because the plant is hair-like and luxuriant.

In India, it is used in cleaning ulcers and in an eye-wash. In Java, the pounded stems are used for intestinal ailments. According to Giersen, the plant is sometimes cultivated for its medicinal uses in parts of Indonesia. Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr. Cassytha filiformis on the NParks Flora and Fauna website: photos and fact sheet. Cassytha filiformis pdf by Scot C. Nelson Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences: detailed fact sheet and comparison with Cuscuta species which look similar.

References Hsuan Keng, S. Chin and H. Singapore University Press. Burkill, I. Volume 1: ; volume 2: Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings?


Cassytha filiformis

Lazarus Island, Feb Tiny flowers on short stalk. Pulau Semakau, Dec Small globular berries. Pulau Semakau, Apr Pulau Hantu, Apr Make your own badge here.


Cassytha filiformis L. There are also some flowers, young fruits and even a few leaves Photograph by: scott. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

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