Plants of
South Australia
Cuscuta victoriana
Convolvulaceae
The Queen's Dodder
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Cuscuta from the Italian and Neo-Latin 'cuscuta', which is from the Arabic 'kushuta' meaning to bend; referring to the twining habit of the stem. Victoriana maybe named after Queen Victoria, 19th century Queen of Great Britain.

Distribution and status

Found in the north-eastern part of South Australia, parasitic on various herbaceous species such as Tribulus, Calotis, Sida, Boerhavia and other forbs in open woodlands and shrublands in arid to semi-arid regions, often along waterways and in swampy areas and gibber plains. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Parasitic twining herb with slender, pale brown stems. Inflorescent in dense clusters with 4 yellow flowers. Flowering between March and May. Fruits are golden depressed-globular capsule to 4 mm diameter. Seeds are orange globular seed to 2 mm diameter. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between May and July. Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

5,890 (6.1 g)
~2019-May-2007RJB71987B
Gairdner-Torrens
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.