4. Cuscuta japonica Choisy, Zoll. Syst. Verz. Ind. Archip. Pflanz. 2: 130, 134. 1854.
金灯藤 jin deng teng
Stems yellow or often with purplish spots, slightly stout, 1-2 mm in diam., many branched. Inflorescences spicate, ca. 3 cm; bracts and bracteoles scalelike, broadly ovate, ca. 2 mm. Flowers subsessile. Calyx cupular, ca. 2 mm, deeply divided; sepals ovate to circular, equal or unequal, purplish tuberculate abaxially, apex acute. Corolla pink or greenish white, campanulate to tubular, 3-7 mm, shallowly 5-lobed; lobes erect or reflexed, ovate-triangular, much shorter than tube, apex obtuse. Stamens inserted at throat; anthers yellow, ovate-circular; filaments very short or absent; scales oblong, fimbriate, reaching middle of tube. Ovary globose, smooth. Style 1, longer than or as long as ovary; stigma elongated. Capsule ovoid, ca. 5 mm, circumscissile near base. Seeds 1-3, brown, 2-2.5 mm, smooth. Fl. Aug, fr. Sep.
On herbs and shrubs. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea, Russia, Vietnam]
The seeds are used medicinally.
According to Kamelin (in litt.), Chinese material identified as Cuscuta japonica requires further study. Possibly two species are combined in this description; one of them may be C.
engelmannii Krock, which perhaps represents the material from Xinjiang.
Although Cuscuta japonica var. fissistyla Engelmann ( = C. upcraftii Pearson) was recognized by Fang & Huang (1979), no material of this taxon was examined by the authors, and
the variety is here excluded.