M.T.M. RAJPUT & S.S. TAHIR
Cuscuta europaea var. epithymum L.
Stem thin, purple, not interlaced, making a few spirals around the host stem. Leaves fleshy, oblong, acute-obtuse, slightly purple to brown, inflexed, c. 1 x c. 0.4 mm. Flowers in clusters of 4-5, sessile or subsessile, 22-25 mm. Bracts leaf-like. Calyx lobes 4, 1.8-2 x 1-1.5 mm, glossy, fleshy, elliptical to spathulate, with a prominent reticulate pattern, mostly obtuse or acute-obtuse, tips glandular, tube 1-12 mm long. Petals 1.8-2 x 1-12 mm, 4, broadly elliptical, membranous, with reticulate pattern, acute-obtuse or obtuse; tube c. 1 mm long; scales very thin, membranous, hard to see, fringed, c. 0.3 mm long. Stamens 4, sessile, free filaments obsolete, fused filaments prominent in the petals; anther oblong-elliptical, basifixed, light-brown, to dark-brown, c. 0.3 x c. 0.4 mm. Ovary globular, not depressed, fleshy, brown, with thick base, 2.5-3 x c. 0.4 mm, style linear, narrowing towards the apex, brown, 2.5-3 mm long; stigma linear, dark brown, c. 0.2 mm long; ovules 4, orbicular, light brown to yellow, c. 0.2 mm in diameter. Fruit not seen.
Type: Described from Europe, Herb. Linn. 170/4 (LINN).
Distribution: Throughout the range of the genus.
Host: Convolvulus spinouts.
This species is close to Cuscuta europaea, from which it is differentiated by having purple stems, sessile stamens and sepal lobes with reticulate venation and style 2.5-3 mm long. Different forms of this species described by Yuncker are not recognized here both because only a limited number of collections are available, and the characters used by Yuncker for the separation of different forms intergrade.