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Datasheet

Cassytha filiformis
(love-vine)

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Datasheet

Cassytha filiformis (love-vine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 07 December 2021
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cassytha filiformis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • love-vine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Cassytha filiformis is a parasitic vine with a pantropical distribution. It is primarily a plant of coastal areas, where it may become dominant on herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees and can affect a wide range of hosts including crops an...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on Ceratiola ericoides. South West Florida (SWFL), USA. February 2021.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on Ceratiola ericoides. South West Florida (SWFL), USA. February 2021.
Copyright©Bobyellow/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on Ceratiola ericoides. South West Florida (SWFL), USA. February 2021.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on Ceratiola ericoides. South West Florida (SWFL), USA. February 2021.©Bobyellow/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
Copyright©Yercaud Elango/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.©Yercaud Elango/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
TitleFruits
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
FruitsCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
TitleFruits
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.
FruitsCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature and mature fruits. Burondi, Maharashtr, India. April 2009.©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Kelwa beach, Maharashtra, India. January 2008.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Kelwa beach, Maharashtra, India. January 2008.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Kelwa beach, Maharashtra, India. January 2008.
Fruiting habitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Kelwa beach, Maharashtra, India. January 2008.©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Devgad, Maharashtra, India. May 2012.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Devgad, Maharashtra, India. May 2012.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Devgad, Maharashtra, India. May 2012.
Fruiting habitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Fruiting habit. Devgad, Maharashtra, India. May 2012.©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Nigeria. January 2013.
TitleImmature fruit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Nigeria. January 2013.
Copyright©Abkadiri2001/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Nigeria. January 2013.
Immature fruitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Nigeria. January 2013.©Abkadiri2001/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Ko Chang island, Trat, Thailand. January 2005.
TitleImmature fruit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Ko Chang island, Trat, Thailand. January 2005.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by Tony Rodd/via Flickr
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Ko Chang island, Trat, Thailand. January 2005.
Immature fruitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Immature fruit. Ko Chang island, Trat, Thailand. January 2005.Public Domain - Released by Tony Rodd/via Flickr
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Flowers. Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. February 2020.
TitleFlowers
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Flowers. Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. February 2020.
Copyright©國立臺灣博物館 (ntm-bio)/via iNaturalist - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Flowers. Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. February 2020.
FlowersCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Flowers. Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. February 2020.©國立臺灣博物館 (ntm-bio)/via iNaturalist - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
Copyright©Yercaud Elango/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. November 2018.©Yercaud Elango/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Waianapanapa State Park Hana, Maui, Hawaii. March 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Waianapanapa State Park Hana, Maui, Hawaii. March 2007.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Waianapanapa State Park Hana, Maui, Hawaii. March 2007.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Waianapanapa State Park Hana, Maui, Hawaii. March 2007.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Mahabalipuram, India. October 2019.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Mahabalipuram, India. October 2019.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Mahabalipuram, India. October 2019.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Mahabalipuram, India. October 2019.©Dinesh Valke/via Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by Scot Nelson/via Flickr - CC0 1.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.Public Domain - Released by Scot Nelson/via Flickr - CC0 1.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by Scot Nelson/via Flickr - CC0 1.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit. Hawaii. November 2015.Public Domain - Released by Scot Nelson/via Flickr - CC0 1.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Smothering habit. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on aalii bush. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on aalii bush. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0
Cassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on aalii bush. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.
HabitCassytha filiformis (love-vine); Habit on aalii bush. Keomoku Rd, Lanai, Hawaii. April 2007.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cassytha filiformis L.

Preferred Common Name

  • love-vine

Other Scientific Names

  • Calodium cochinchinensis Lour.
  • Cassytha aericana Nees
  • Cassytha aphylla Raeusch.
  • Cassytha archboldiana C.K. Allen
  • Cassytha brasiliensis Mart. Ex Nees
  • Cassytha cochinchinensis Lour.
  • Cassytha corniculata Burm.f.
  • Cassytha cuscutiformis F. Muell.
  • Cassytha dissitiflora Meisn.
  • Cassytha guineensis Schumach. & Thonn.
  • Cassytha lifuensis Guillamin
  • Cassytha macrocarpa Guillamin
  • Cassytha novguineesis Kaneh. & Hatus.
  • Cassytha paradoxae Proctor
  • Cassytha senegalensis A. Chev.
  • Cassytha timorensis Gand.
  • Cassytha zeylanica Gaertn.
  • Rumputris fasciculata Raf.
  • Spironema aphylla Raf.
  • Volutella aphylla Forskk.

International Common Names

  • English: devil's gut; devil's twine; dodder laurel; dodder-laurel; false dodder; giant dodder; love vine; lovevine; seashore-dodder; woevine
  • Spanish: bejuco dorado; bejuco fideo; cabellos de angel; fideillo; fideos; tente en el aire
  • French: cassythe d'Amérique; liane ficelle; liane jaune; liane sans tête
  • Chinese: wu gen feng; wu gen teng

Local Common Names

  • Australia: bush dodder; bush-dodder; dodder laurel; false dodder
  • Benin: abebekan; agbégbékan; agbegbesu; agtbégbessou; gbégbé; moni gede geed; omoni gede omni; omoni gele glee; omoni gini gini; téklémazro
  • Bolivia: cabellos de angel; fideos; tente en el aire
  • Brazil: cipo-chumbo; cipo-de-chumbo; herva-de-chumbo
  • Brunei Darussalam: akar janjang
  • Burkina Faso: nanka-buli
  • Burundi: imburabano; imburabwamo
  • Comoros: irouditkanga
  • Congo: nsinga wa leembo baandu; yele ngyengye
  • Congo Democratic Republic: limerhahasha; tsumbu mfinda
  • Cook Islands: kave; kave wetai; pala; para; tainoka; tainoko; tititai
  • Côte d'Ivoire: ablindi
  • Cuba: bejuco de fideo; bejuco dorado; bejuco fideo
  • Ethiopia: korsa buda
  • Fiji: fetainoa; feteinoa; mbuwalawalawa; ndrendruma; wa uruilangi; wa urulangi; wailutumailangi; walawala; walukumailangi; walutumailangi; waverelangi
  • French Polynesia: aieri; ainoa; kaingoka; kainoka; kukuri; kukusi; pohue oviri; tainoa; tataa noka; tataenoka; taunene; tinoa; tonene
  • Germany: Fadenförmiges; Flechtkraut
  • Haiti: liane amitié
  • India: aakaasha balli; akas bel; akasavalli; akasa-valli; akashavuli; akashbel; amara balli; amarvel; ambarvel; ankasvel; bilu balli; daarada balli; erumai-k-korran; janivaara balli; mamgana udidaara; pacu-n-korran; turrumai-k-korran
  • Indonesia: akar pengalasan; sangga langit; tali puteri
  • Japan: sunazuru
  • Kiribati: te ntanini
  • Lesser Antilles: corde a violon; kod-a-vyélonj; liane-fisella; lyenn san piat; vermicella
  • Madagascar: tsihitafotrota
  • Malaysia: chemar batu
  • Mali: alla nyon
  • Marshall Islands: kaanin; kani; kanun; kenen
  • Mayotte: tsihitafotrota
  • Mozambique: ruangaro
  • Myanmar: ahwe-nwe
  • Namibia: vrouehaar
  • Nauru: denuwanini
  • Nigeria: otetebilete; rumfar-gada; sulunwahi
  • Niue: fetainoa; feteinoa
  • Pakistan: amarbel
  • Philippines: barutbarut; kaduad-kawaran; malabohok
  • Puerto Rico: cabellos de angel
  • Samoa: fetai
  • Senegal: samédiallo
  • Seychelles: liane sans fin
  • Singapore: rambut putri
  • Somalia: arjeeg
  • South Africa: luangalala; nooienshaar; umkhunga; vrouehaar
  • Tanzania: mlangamia; ngalikitepo
  • Thailand: chong naang khlee; khiang kham; khueang kham khok
  • Togo: dalem; motawakola
  • Tokelau: fetai
  • Tonga: fatai
  • Tuvalu: fetai
  • USA/Hawaii: kauna’oa malolo; kauna’oa pehu; kauna’oa uka; malolo; pololo
  • Vietnam: dây tơ xanh; tơ hồng xanh

EPPO code

  • CSYFI (Cassytha filiformis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Cassytha filiformis is a parasitic vine with a pantropical distribution. It is primarily a plant of coastal areas, where it may become dominant on herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees and can affect a wide range of hosts including crops and economically important plants. It has not often been regarded as a serious invasive except in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. In the Chagos Archipelago it has, for some decades, been regarded as invasive on Diego Garcia and Eagle Island, seriously reducing beach cabbage, Scaevola taccada and increasing the risk of erosion. Somewhat unusually, these are all areas to which the species is native.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Laurales
  •                         Family: Lauraceae
  •                             Genus: Cassytha
  •                                 Species: Cassytha filiformis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Cassytha consists of 23 species of twining parasitic plants in the family Lauraceae (Weber, 2007). It has sometimes been ascribed to its own family Cassythaceae, but embryological and phylogenetic studies place the species among the Lauraceae (Sastri, 1962; Rohwer and Rudolph, 2005).

Most species of Cassytha occur in Australia (19 species of which 16 are endemic), a few occur in Africa and Southern Asia and one (C. filiformis) is pantropical (Weber, 2007). All are chlorophyllous, obligate parasites with thread-like stems that attach to their hosts by means of haustoria.The genus name derives from the Aramic ‘kesatha’, which in fact means ‘a tangled wisp of hair’ (Nelson, 2008). C. filiformis is extremely widespread and so it has been known by a large number of synonyms and common names.

Description

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Adapted from Flora Zambesiaca (2014):
 
C. filiformis is a perennial dextrorsely-twining (anti-clockwise, like Cuscuta spp.) herb forming masses of stems up to 2 m long, filiform, striate, branched, glabrous to tomentose, green, orange or bright yellow.
 
Leaves scale-like, 1.5–2 mm long, ovate to lanceolate, apex acute. Inflorescence an axillary spike 1–6 cm long, usually solitary, 3–10-flowered; peduncle 1–3 cm long; bracts and bracteoles c. 0.6 mm long, ovate, ciliate.
 
Receptacle glabrous. Flowers greenish-white, sessile, 1.5–2 mm long, glabrous; the three outer tepals 0.6–1 mm wide, broadly ovate-orbicular and ciliate, the three inner tepals 1.8–2.4 x 1.5–2 mm, ovate-triangular, obtuse at the apex, glabrous inside and outside, ± fleshy. Stamens 9, arranged in 3 whorls with an innermost or fourth whorl made up of staminodes; filaments of the first and second whorls c. 0.3 mm long, anthers c. 1 x 0.6 mm, dehiscing introrsely; filaments of the third whorl c. 0.2 mm long with 2 globose glands at the base, anthers c. 0.9 x 0.3 mm, dehiscing extrorsely; staminodes c. 0.4 mm long, triangular, glabrous, fleshy. Ovary 0.3 mm long, ovoid; style 0.3 mm long.
 
Fruit a 1-seeded drupe, c. 6 x 5 mm, globose, surrounded by the glabrous accrescent receptacle, crowned with a persistent perianth; green, maturing black.
 
The stems vary in thickness, and Werth et al. (1979) distinguished ‘stolons’ 2-3 mm thick from narrower haustorial shoots. The latter twine round the leaves or stems of hosts, forming quite regularly-spaced haustoria. Some self-parasitism also occurs.
 

Plant Type

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Herbaceous
Parasitic
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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Cassytha filiformis is extremely widespread, being apparently native across the tropics of the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific (Van der Werff, 2009). It has been reported as introduced in the less tropical southern African countries of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Eswatini (Germishuizen and Meyer, 2003). It was also listed as introduced to Angola (Figueiredo and Smith, 2008), but Rejmánek et al. (2017) indicate that this species is actually native to this country.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 07 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentDifferent sources report as either native or introduced and naturalized
BeninPresentNative
BotswanaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
Burkina FasoPresentNative
BurundiPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
ChadPresentNative
ComorosPresentNative
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNative
Congo, Republic of thePresentNative
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative
EgyptPresent
Equatorial GuineaPresentNative
EswatiniPresentIntroducedNaturalized
EthiopiaPresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GambiaPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
GuineaPresentNative
Guinea-BissauPresentNative
KenyaPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MadagascarPresent, WidespreadNative
MalawiPresentNative
MaliPresentNative
MauritiusPresentNative
-RodriguesPresentNative
MayottePresentNative
MoroccoPresent
MozambiquePresentNative
NamibiaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
NigerPresentNative
NigeriaPresentNative
RéunionPresentNative
SenegalPresentNative
SeychellesPresentNative
Sierra LeonePresentNative
SomaliaPresentNative
South AfricaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
TanzaniaPresentNative
TogoPresentNative
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresentNative
ZimbabwePresentNative

Asia

BangladeshPresentNative
IndonesiaPresentNative
-BorneoPresentNative
-Irian JayaPresentNative
-JavaPresentNative
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentNative
-SulawesiPresentNative
-SumatraPresentNative
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPresentPresent, based on regional distribution
-Chagos ArchipelagoPresentNativeAlthough native, it is reported as invasive
BruneiPresentNative
CambodiaPresentNative
ChinaPresentNative
-FujianPresentNative
-GuangdongPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-GuizhouPresentNative
-HainanPresentNative
-HenanPresentNative
-HunanPresentNative
-JiangsuPresentNative
-JiangxiPresentNative
-YunnanPresentNative
-ZhejiangPresentNative
IndiaPresentNative
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNative
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-GujaratPresentNative
-Jammu and KashmirPresent
-KarnatakaPresent
-Madhya PradeshPresent
-Tamil NaduPresentNative
-West BengalPresent
JapanPresentNative
-KyushuPresentNative
-Ryukyu IslandsPresentNative
LaosPresentNative
MalaysiaPresentNative
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNative
-SabahPresentNative
MyanmarPresentNative
PakistanPresentNative
PhilippinesPresentNative
SingaporePresentNative
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresentNative
ThailandPresentNative
VietnamPresentNative
YemenPresentNative

Europe

PortugalPresent, Only in captivity/cultivation

North America

AnguillaPresentNative
Antigua and BarbudaPresentNative
BahamasPresentNative
BarbadosPresentNative
BelizePresentNative
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeTortola, Virgin Gorda
Cayman IslandsPresentNative
Costa RicaPresentNative
CubaPresentDifferent sources describe as either native or as introduced and invasive
CuraçaoPresentNative
Dominican RepublicPresentNative
GrenadaPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
HaitiPresentNative
HondurasPresentNative
JamaicaPresentNative
MartiniquePresentNative
MexicoPresentNative
Netherlands AntillesPresentNative
NicaraguaPresentNative
PanamaPresentNative
Puerto RicoPresentNativeAlthough native, it is reported as invasive
Saint LuciaPresentNative
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNative
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative
Turks and Caicos IslandsPresentNative
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentNativeSt. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas
United StatesPresentNative
-FloridaPresentNative
-HawaiiPresentNativeKauai, Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii
-TexasPresentNativePotential and expanding new arrival with global warming

Oceania

American SamoaPresentNative
AustraliaPresentNative
-New South WalesPresentNative
-Northern TerritoryPresentNative
-QueenslandPresentNative
-Western AustraliaPresentNative
Christmas IslandPresentNative
Cook IslandsPresentNativeA minor invasive, parasitizing and covering plants
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentNative
-ChuukPresentNative
-KosraePresentNative
-PohnpeiPresentNative
-YapPresentNative
FijiPresentNative
French PolynesiaPresent, WidespreadNative
GuamPresentNative
KiribatiPresentNative
Marshall IslandsPresentNative
NauruPresentNative
New CaledoniaPresentNative
NiuePresentNative
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNative
PalauPresentNative
Papua New GuineaPresentNative
PitcairnPresentNative
SamoaPresentNative
Solomon IslandsPresentNative
Timor-LestePresentNative
TokelauPresentNative
TongaPresentNative
TuvaluPresentNative
VanuatuPresentNative
Wallis and FutunaPresentNative

South America

BoliviaPresentNative
BrazilPresent, WidespreadNative
-AlagoasPresentNative
-AmazonasPresentNative
-BahiaPresentNative
-CearaPresentNative
-Distrito FederalPresentNative
-Espirito SantoPresentNative
-GoiasPresentNative
-MaranhaoPresentNative
-Mato GrossoPresentNative
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNative
-Minas GeraisPresentNative
-ParaPresentNative
-ParaibaPresentNative
-ParanaPresentNative
-PernambucoPresentNative
-PiauiPresentNative
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNative
-Rio Grande do NortePresentNative
-RondoniaPresentNative
-RoraimaPresentNative
-Sao PauloPresentNative
-SergipePresentNative
-TocantinsPresentNative
ColombiaPresentNative
French GuianaPresentNative
GuyanaPresentNative
SurinamePresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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The earliest records of C. filiformis on GBIF (2018) are 1839 for South Africa, 1939 for Namibia, 1952 for Botswana and 1959 for Swaziland, but it is not certain if this represents natural or human-assisted spread.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
South Africa 1823 Yes No GBIF (2018)
Namibia 1939 Yes No GBIF (2018)
Botswana 1972 Yes No GBIF (2018)
Swaziland 1959 Yes No GBIF (2018)

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of further spread is relatively low, but could occur as a result of interest in the therapeutic uses of the plant (see Uses), or accidentally with the importation of infected ornamental host plants, as has been occuring in the USA on Protea plants (USDA, 2007). The risk is probably greatest for those Pacific islands on which C. filiformis is not currently found.

Habitat

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Cassytha filiformis occurs most commonly on coastal, low vegetation, usually on sandy dunes, but also on the margins of evergreen, gully and riverine forest, deciduous plateau and coastal woodlands, montane grasslands and swamp margins and in the vegetation of sandy beaches of lakes (Diniz, 1996). Inland, it may occur on a wide range of hosts, including quite large trees (but not tall forest) as well as grasses. It is usually found not higher than 600 m altitude (Wardini, 2001). In China, it has been recorded in thickets and forests on mountain slopes, from sea level to 1600 m altitude (Li et al., 2008).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalArid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalArid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Principal habitat Natural
LittoralCoastal dunes Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal dunes Principal habitat Natural
LittoralMangroves Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralMangroves Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Unlike some of the less widely distributed species of Cassytha, C. filiformis has a very wide host range on grasses, broad-leaved angiosperms, ferns and even gymnosperms (Mukhtar et al., 2010; Kokubugata and Yokota, 2012).

It can be damaging to plants of economic value, usually tree crops such as mango (Mangifera indica), Citrus, clove (Syzygium aromaticum), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), avocado (Persea americana), sandalwood (Santalum album), neem (Azadirachta indica), camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora), cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and coconut (Cocos nucifera), but also ornamental trees (Nelson, 2008). It can also become dominant in natural vegetation, with deleterious effects on wild species, such as and Lumnitzera racemosa on islands in the Chagos Archipelago (Indian Ocean), Jacquemontia reclinata in Scaevola taccada Florida and Euphorbia skottsbergii var. skottsbergii (=Euphorbia skottsbergii var. kalaeloana),Achyranthes splendens, Tournefortia argentea, Metrosideros polymorpha, Morinda citrifolia and Pandanus sp. in Hawaii (Nelson, 2008). Gymnosperms damaged include Pinus massoniana in China (Zhang, 1988).

Werth et al. (1979), during a short survey on Andros Island in the Bahamas, identified 81 host species in 45 plant families, including ferns, gymnosperm and grasses. Most of the favoured hosts were low, much-branched woody shrubs such as Trema lamarckiana, Lantana involucrata, Baccharis dioica, Pithecellobium keyense (=Pithecellobiumguadalupense), Koanophyllon villosum (=Eupatorium villosum) and particularly Vachellia choriophylla (=Acacia choriophylla).

Recorded host plants in southern and southeastern Africa include species of Baphia, Bauhinia, Crotalaria, Dalbergia, Indigofera, Kotschya, Tephrosia, Triumfetta, Ozoroa, Philippia, Xylopia, Euphorbia milii, Justicia, Phragmites, Miscanthidium and Chloris (Flora Zambesiaca, 2014). Favoured hosts in Pakistan are recorded as Bougainvillea spectabilis, followed by Nerium oleander and Ziziphus mauritiana (Mukhtar et al., 2010). According to Nickrent (2002), C. filiformis “appears to be totally indiscriminate in host choice, often covering and parasitizing dozens of host species simultaneously”.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeOther
Azadirachta indica (neem tree)MeliaceaeOther
Cinnamomum camphora (camphor laurel)LauraceaeOther
CitrusRutaceaeOther
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Metrosideros polymorphaLithomyrtusWild host
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)MyristicaceaeOther
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeOther
Santalum album (Indian sandalwood)SantalaceaeOther
Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka)GoodeniaceaeUnknown

Growth Stages

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Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number is usually reported as 2n = 48, but Missouri Botanical Garden (2018) also quoted one record of 2n = 24.

Reproductive Biology

Regarding pollination, Weber (1981) did not observe any particular insects on the flowers of C. filiformis as possible pollinators and no information on pollination is available in the literature. "The presence of the glands in the flower and the quite long flowering period of several weeks may suggest insect pollination or wind pollination; on the other hand, the introrse stamens and the small flowers may achieve self-pollination" (Weber, 1981). Werth et al. (1979) observed thrips (Thysanoptera) in the flowers but could not confirm that they were providing pollination. Bellot and Renner (2013) suggested that Cassytha is pollinated by nectar-foraging flies or bees according to its floral morphology.

Cassytha filiformis is propagated vegetatively and by seeds, which are abundantly produced each season. The fruits are aromatic and somewhat bitter and are dispersed primarily by birds (Weber, 1981). The seeds exhibit physical dormancy caused by a water-impermeable coat and require scarification for germination (Wardini, 2001; Mahadevan and Jayasuriya, 2013b). Germination is best in almost pure sand. Sporadic bush fire may facilitate germination by burning the fruit wall. The bony endocarp may also be damaged by digestive processes if swallowed by animals, or by microbial action (Weber, 1981; Heide-Jørgensen, 2008).

The mature embryo has two massive cotyledons enclosing the radicle and plumule. During germination, the cotyledons remain fully intact inside the seed coat. Radicles are tuberous, swollen and whitish-green. The plumule is filiform, cord-like, light green and with minute alternate leaves (Augustine, 2004).

Following germination, the primary root fails to develop but several small adventitious roots may provide anchorage for a short period (Mahadevan and Jayasuriya, 2013a). Seedlings can then survive for up to 8 weeks without a host, growing to a length of 30 cm or more, presumably relying on the seed reserves (Nelson, 2008; Mahadevan and Jayasuriya, 2013a). Mahadevan and Jayasuriya (2013a) reported that seedlings need a distance of 5-10 cm for successful ‘detection’ and attachment to a host plant. Seedlings planted at 15 cm from the host failed to attach to it.

Physiology and Phenology

Cassytha filiformis flowers and fruits throughout the year depending primarily on rainfall. In favourable conditions, Cassytha "forms large tangled masses, often hanging 1-2 m from the hosts covering bushes in a thick layer, both hosts and parasite dying out gradually in the lower layers" (Weber, 1981).

Cassytha filiformis is dependent on the host for water and minerals, but there is little information on the degree to which the parasite is dependent on the host’s photosynthates. This species has substantial levels of chlorophyll (though it is sometimes masked by orange pigments) and some ability to photosynthesize. De la Harpe et al. (1980) found that in the South African species C. ciliolata, there was a well-developed thylakoid system but rates of photosynthesis were low. No comparable information has been seen for C. filiformis.

Some sources suggest that there is phloem connection between C. filiformis and its host. (e.g. Abubacker et al., 2005), but Nelson (2008) indicated that in phloem tissues, the cells of the plant host and the parasite are separated by their respective cell membranes, although nutrients and fluid pass through these membranes. After the haustorium has directly penetrated the cell wall, ‘the haustorium does not penetrate or break through the plasmalemma membrane, but rather invaginates it’ (Nelson, 2008). Some self-parasitism can also occur (Heide-Jørgensen, 2008).

Longevity

Cassytha filiformis is a perennial but no information was found on its life expectancy. It has been noted, however, that the seeds may persist for some years in a dormant state (Mahadevan and Jayasuriya, 2013b).

Environmental Requirements

Cassytha filiformis is a tropical species requiring warm temperatures. It is also sensitive to shading, in spite of having its own photosynthesis and obtaining additional nutrition from its hosts. It is not known to be affected by soil type or pH. Its greater numbers in coastal areas suggest that it may be favoured by hosts growing on saline soils, but there has been no confirmation of this.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30 32

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 30

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall1002500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline

Notes on Natural Enemies

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There are few records of natural enemies on C. filiformis, perhaps helping to explain its invasive nature, even within its native range. There are records of black mildew disease in Brazil and Kenya caused by Meliola cassythae and of black spots caused by Elsinoe cassythae (=Bitancourtia cassythae) in India and Hawaii (Farr and Rossman, 2018).

Cassytha filiformis is a host for citrus mosaic virus and citrus yellow corky vein viroid. The larvae of the lycaenid butterfly Zetona delospila from Australia feed specifically on C. filiformis (Wardini, 2001). The species is also a food plant for the larval stages of the small dusky-blue butterfly (Candalides erinus erinus) and the twin dusky-blue (Candalides geminus gagadju) in Australia (Braby, 2011; 2017).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Non-biotic dispersal may occur locally by strong winds or water movement (Nelson, 2008). The fruits sink in fresh water but float in salt water (Werth et al., 1979). They can be distributed locally by rivers, streams or seasonally flowing water, or more widely via ocean currents (Nelson, 2008). C. filiformis can also spread from tree to tree by vegetative growth. The long pendulous shoots may become detached in a storm and spread by wind to other hosts (Heide-Jørgensen, 2008).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

The fruits of C. filiformis are consumed and spread mainly by birds. Some bird species include the white-browed bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) in India (Balasubramanian, 1990), the Japanese white eye (Zosterops japonicus) in the Bonin islands (Emura et al., 2012), the Polynesian starling (Aplonis tabuensis) in Tonga (Rinke, 1986), the yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) and fruit pigeons in Indonesia (Whittaker and Jones, 1994).

Mammals can also disperse the seeds. The rufous hare wallaby, Lagorchestes hirsutus has been reported to consume the fruits in Australia (Jarman, 1994).

Accidental Introduction

USDA (2007) recorded an accidental introduction of C. filiformis into USA on ornamental Protea plants.

Intentional Introduction

Human-mediated introduction seems to be a common way for C. filiformis to spread. It is quite likely to be introduced deliberately as a medicinal plant, as a cultural accessory, or simply as a curiosity (see Uses).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosPotential movement as curiosity Yes Yes Wilson (1847)
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes
Forage Yes Yes
Garden waste disposal Yes
HitchhikerSeeds are dispersed by birds and mammals Yes Yes Weber (1981); Nelson (2008)
HorticultureSometimes cultivated for several purposes Yes Yes Nelson (2008)
Medicinal useWidely used as a medicinal plant Yes Yes Nelson (2008)
Nursery tradeAn accidental introduction into USA on ornamental Protea plants has been reported Yes Yes USDA (2007)

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debrisFruits float in sea water Yes Werth et al. (1979)
Plants or parts of plantsAn accidental introduction into USA on ornamental Protea plants has been reported Yes Yes USDA (2007)
WaterSeeds are carried by ocean currents, rivers and streams Yes Yes Nelson (2008)
Soil, sand and gravelSoil collected from the vicinity of C. filiformis-infected plants can be contaminated with seeds Yes Yes Nelson (2008)
WindSeeds and stem fragments may be spread by strong winds Yes Heide-Jørgensen (2008); Nelson (2008)

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx weeds/seeds; weeds/whole plants Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches weeds/whole plants Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Human health Positive and negative

Impact: Economic

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As a parasite, C. filiformis can do considerable damage to host plants by extracting plant sap from the host and by covering the host with a dense mat of stems (). It is believed to reduce photosynthesis in its host, but it is not clear whether this is a physiological effect, or arises from the smothering effect of the dense mass of stems and effective shading of the host (Shen et al., 2010).

Many plants of economic importance are reported to be damaged by C. filiformis. These include mango, Citrus, nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), avocado (Persea americana), sandalwood (Santalum album), camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora), cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and coconut (Cocos nucifera), among many others (Nelson, 2008; Kidunda et al., 2017). Schmutterer (1998) recorded the death of neem trees (Azadirachta indica) infested by C. filiformis in Kenya, but this is not common. C. filiformis can also cause physical damage by the sheer weight of its stems, which can break branches. The species is also regarded as a threat to lowland reforestation projects (Nelson, 2008).

Cassytha filiformis is reported to be capable of transmitting phytoplasmas to or from coconut and areca, causing areca yellow leaf disease (ALD; Nelson, 2008). It is also a host for citrus mosaic virus and citrus yellow corky vein viroid and has been found to transmit the virus from one Citrus species to another (Reddy et al., 1985). A mycoplasma-like organism causing root wilt in coconut and normally transferred by a lace bug (Stephanitis typicus [Stephanitis typica]), may also be transmitted through C. filiformis (Wardini, 2001).

Impact: Environmental

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Impact on Habitats

Heavy infestations of C. filiformis can out-compete and eventually kill plants, including endangered plants and their coppice regrowth in coastal habitats. It has been observed that fewer flowers are produced by heavily infested host plants (Weber, 1981). The affected plants may also succumb due to a weakened condition that reduces the resistance to other pests (Nelson, 2008).

Cassytha filiformis impacts habitats by smothering the vegetation, thereby altering ground cover. In the Chagos islands, damage to the shore-line plant Scaevola taccada is of concern because it may increase coastal erosion (Rivers, 2004). The mangrove ecosystem on Eagle Island has been also reported to be "swamped by overtopping vines, most seriously the parasitic, C. filiformis and Ipomoea micrantha [Ipomoea violacea]" (UKOTs Team, 2014).

Impact on Biodiversity

In Hawaii, C. filiformis has been observed on Euphorbia skottsbergii var. skottsbergii (= Euphorbia skottsbergii var. kalaeloana), which appears in the USA federal endangered plants list. The Hawaiian endemic, Achyranthes splendens, is under pressing threat from the destruction of remaining habitat for development and competition from invasive plants, especially C. filiformis (Nelson, 2008).

Cassytha filiformis is also threatening the mangrove species, Lumnitzera racemose, in Eagle Island and reducing Scaevola taccada cover on Diego Garcia atoll, both in the Chagos Archipelago (Rivers, 2004; UKOTs Team, 2014). The threatened species, Jacquemontia reclinata, in Florida, USA is also affected by C. filiformis (Nelson, 2008).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Jacquemontia reclinata (beach clustervine)No DetailsChagos ArchipelagoCompetition - smothering; Parasitism (incl. parasitoid)Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (2014)
Achyranthes splendens var. rotundata (round-leaved chaff flower)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smothering; Parasitism (incl. parasitoid)NatureServe (2010)
Euphorbia skottsbergii var. skottsbergiiNo DetailsHawaiiCompetition - smothering; Parasitism (incl. parasitoid)Nelson (2008)

Impact: Social

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Cassytha filiformis is considered a significant roadside eyesore in some locations, such as in Hawaii (Nelson, 2008).

The plant contains small quantities of a poisonous alkaloid, very large doses of which are fatal (Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, 2010). The toxicological evaluation of the plant extract revealed an oral LD50 value greater than 500 mg/kg body weight (Babayi et al., 2007).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Long lived
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Antagonistic (micro-organisms)
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Parasitism (incl. parasitoid)
  • Pathogenic
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Social Benefit

Cassytha filiformis has a wide range of medicinal and other uses. GlobinMed (2018) catalogued uses in dermatology, gastrointestinal problems, obstetrics and gynaecology. These uses are recorded extremely wide from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

In Africa, it is used to treat cancer, African trypanosomiasis, urethritis, diarrhoea, gonorrhoea and syphilis (Wardini, 2001; Hoet et al., 2004). In southern Nigeria, a decoction is taken by women to suppress lactation after a stillbirth (Wardini, 2001).

Throughout its distribution in Southeast Asia, "C. filiformis is considered astringent and diuretic. In India, Vietnam, China and also in Central America, an infusion of the stems is taken as a tonic, for biliousness, piles, diarrhoea and spermatorrhea. The stems are used for cleaning ulcers and an infusion as an eyewash. In Indonesia, the pounded stems are given as a vermifuge and for other intestinal troubles. In Java, the stems are also used for headache, malaria, fever, nephritis, oedema, hepatitis and urinary problems. In Brunei, a decoction of the stems is drunk or applied to the skin to relieve itch and eczema. In the Philippines, a decoction of the plant is taken to hasten parturition and to prevent haemoptysis. In Peninsular Malaysia and India, the stems are dried, powdered and mixed with sesame oil to make a mucilaginous hair tonic, but this use may be attributed to the luxuriant hair-like appearance of the stems" (Wardini, 2001).

Antioxidant activity has been reported by Nwaehujor et al. (2013) and hepatoprotective activity by Raj et al. (2013). Medicinal uses are thought to be linked to a range of biologically active substances. For instance, ocoteine, a compound isolated from C. filiformis, was found to be an alpha 1-adrenoceptor blocking agent in the rat thoracic aorta. This type of chemistry has potential applications for inhibiting certain carcinomas such as prostate cancer. Ocoteine and a number of other compounds in C. filiformis have anti-platelet aggregation activity (Nelson, 2008).

Studies on the aporphines in C. filiformis indicated that these compounds effectively bind to DNA and behave as typical intercalating agents. These interactions with DNA and observed cytotoxic activity may explain, at least in part, the effects observed on cancer cells and trypanosomes (Stévigny et al., 2002; Hoet et al., 2004).

Extracts of C. filiformis were shown to have anti-bacterial action against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans (Adonu et al., 2013) and anti-bacterial activity against Klebsiella pneumonia (Mythili et al., 2011).

Additionally, Nelson (2008) recorded the following miscellaneous uses of C. filiformis in the Pacific region: for sorcery (Kiribati), for fishing magic (Ulithi), for fastening roofing (Papua New Guinea), as a food for children (Micronesia), as a pre-masticated food for infants (Ulithi), the fruit as ammunition for popguns (Puluwat), the sap as shampoo and hair conditioner (Tokelau), to line earthen ovens (Truk), as casual head garlands for picnics and other light-hearted occasions (Hawaii and elsewhere), for jellyfish stings (Fiji) and for scenting coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil. In East Africa, the pounded stems of C. filiformis are used to prepare a brown dye (Wardini, 2001).

Along the Kenyan coast, C. filiformis is also used as a fodder for domestic animals (Schmutterer, 1998). In China, a paste of the whole plant is used by local people for paper-making (Li et al., 2008).

Environmental Services

In Florida, USA, suppression of the invasive Schinus terebinthifolius tree by the potential biocontrol lepidopteran Episimus unguiculus can be enhanced by parasitism of the tree by the native C. filiformis (Manrique et al., 2009). C. filiformis has also been suggested to have biological control potential of Mikania micrantha in Malaysia (Chiu et al., 2002).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Biological control

Fuels

  • Miscellaneous fuels

General

  • Ritual uses
  • Sociocultural value

Human food and beverage

  • Emergency (famine) food

Materials

  • Dyestuffs

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Cassytha filiformis can be confused with species of Cuscuta, a parasitic genus of Convolvulaceae with a remarkable similarity in morphology and habit (Weber, 1981; Nickrent, 2002; Heide-Jørgensen, 2008). The two genera can be very difficult to distinguish if not in flower or fruits. Flowers of Cuscuta are campanulate or urceolate and have five petals (vs. six tepals in Cassytha) and the fruit is a dry, thin capsule containing several small black seeds (vs. fleshy and 1-seeded in Cassytha). Moreover, Cuscuta species are annuals, whereas C. filiformis is a perennial. C. filiformis parasitizes a wide range of hosts, usually woody plants. Cuscuta generally parasitizes herbaceous plants (Heide-Jørgensen, 2008; Nelson, 2008).

Cassytha filiformis can also be confused with C. capillaris, a closely related species that occurs in Southeast Asia. The former can be distinguished by the globose, greenish fruits, which are ovoid and reddish in C. capillaris (Weber, 1981; 2007).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Measures

Unwanted potential host plants, particularly those adjacent to crops or economically important plants, can be removed to reduce the spread of C. filiformis (Nelson, 2008). Minimizing coastal habitat modifications, such as bulldozing, forestry operations and firewood gathering, can help control C. filiformis, as can reforesting lowland coastal habitats to increase shade (shading tend to reduce the vigour of C. filiformis).

Soil for nurseries or gardens should not be collected close to C. filiformis-infected plants since it could be contaminated with seeds (Nelson, 2008).

Physical/Mechanical Control

Manual removal is unlikely to be fully effective other than in the very early stages of an infestation and even then will involve substantial damage to the host plant. Fire has been used in some locations, but will of course also destroy the host plants (Nelson, 2008) and may promote germination of the seeds on the soil. Sheep grazing has also been suggested for controlling this species (Nelson, 2008).

Chemical Control

Nelson (2008) suggests that herbicides might be used against C. filiformis, but no specific compound was mentioned. Van Overbeek et al. (1946) reported that the 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) proved to be effective for controlling C. filiformis, while "quite harmless to grasses".

References

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Abubacker MN, Prince M, Hariharan Y, 2005. Histochemical and biochemical studies of parasite-host interaction of Cassytha filiformis Linn. and Zizyphus jujuba Lamk. Current Science, 89(12):2156-2159

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Adjanohoun, E. J., Assi, L. A., Floret, J. J., Guinko, S., Koumare, M., Ahyi, A. M. R., Raynal, J., 1979. Traditional medicine and pharmacological contributions to the ethnobotanic and floristic studies of Mali. (Medecine traditionnelle et pharmacopee contribution aux etudes ethnobotaniques et floristiques au Mali). In: Medecine traditionnelle et pharmacopee contribution aux etudes ethnobotaniques et floristiques au Mali . Paris, France: Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique.291 pp.

Adonu CC, Eze CC, Ugwueze ME, Ugwu KO, 2013. Comparative study of Cassytha filiformis and Cleistopholis patens for antimicrobial activity. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (WJPPS), 2(3):1434-1445

Augustine KT, 2004. Seedling morphology of Cassytha filiformis L. (Lauraceae) from Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 28(1):107-109

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, 2010. Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Version 6.1 - December 2010. In: Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Version 6.1 - December 2010 Queensland, Australia: CSIRO.http://keys.trin.org.au/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-430d-8004-060d07080d04/media/Html/index.html

Babayi HM, Udeme JJI, Abalaka JA, Okogun JI, Salawu OA, Akumka DD, Adamu, Zarma SS, Adzu BB, Abdulmumuni SS, Ibrahime K, Elisha BB, Zakariys SS, Inyang US, 2007. Effect of oral administration of aqueous whole extract of Cassytha filiformis on haematograms and plasma biochemical parameters in rats. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 3(4):146-151

Balasubramanian P, 1990. Seed dispersal of Cassytha filiformis at Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 87(3):472

Bellot, S., Renner, S. S., 2013. Pollination and mating systems of Apodanthaceae and the distribution of reproductive traits in parasitic angiosperms. American Journal of Botany, 100(6), 1083-1094. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200627

Bincy Raj, Singh SDJ, Samual VJ, Soosamma John, Ayesha Siddiqua, 2013. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of Cassytha filiformis against CCl<sub>4</sub> induced hepatic damage in rats. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 7(1):15-19

Bouquet, A., Debray, M., 1974. Medicinal plants in the Ivory Coast. (Plantes medicinales de la Cote d'Ivoire). In: Travaux et Documents de l'ORSTOM , (No. 32) . 232 pp.

Braby, MF, 2011. New larval food plant associations for some butterflies and diurnal moths (Lepidoptera) from the Northern Territory and eastern Kimberley, Australia. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, 27, 85-105.

Braby, MF, 2017. A new subspecies of Candalides geminus Edwards & Kerr, 1978 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from the Northern Territory, Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 32, 207-216.

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02/06/2018 Update by:

Fabiola Areces-Berazain, Herbarium UPRRP, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico

28/04/14 Original text by:

Chris Parker, Consultant, UK

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