Common Names:Japanese dodder,Dodder- Japanese
Japanese dodder is an annual, parasitic vine that has recently been introduced into the United States. Japanese dodder is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed. The stems are fleshy, circular, pale yellow with red spots and striations, and much branched. Leaves are minute and scale-like. Flowers are abundant, pale yellow, and sessile. Japanese dodder parasitizes host plants by penetrating the vascular tissue of the host with structures called haustoria. Severe infestations can kill host plants.
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This plant germinates in the spring near the soil surface. Flowers in late summer and fruits in early fall. A single plant can produce over 2,000 seeds, which remain viable for up to 20 years. Also reproduces via fragmentation and attachment to a new host. Grows very rapidly, up to 6 inches/day. As a parasitic vine that penetrates the vascular tissue of its host for water and nutrients, it reattaches to the host plant as it grows. Once established, its connection to the soil terminates.
Internally used for diarrhea, impotence, urinary frequency, vaginal discharge, and poor eyesight associated with liver and kidney energy weakness. Also used for prostatis and neurological weakness. It builds sperm, builds the blood, strengthens sinews and bones. It also treats enuresis and seminal emission; constipation, backache and cold knees; and rheumatoid arthritis. One of the safer and more affordable yang tonics. The herb is reputed to confer longevity when used for prolonged periods, particularly in combination with Chinese yam. The herb is nontoxic and can be used continuously for long-term periods except for the contraindication below.
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