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Vampire Plants

 
 
          

           Dodder

Dodder is a common name for the genus Cuscuta.  They are closely related to the family of morning glories.  There are more than 100 species of dodder.   This parasitic plant has other common names such as strangleweed, devil's hair, love vine, hell-bind, gold thread, and yellow stringy plants. (dodder pics)

Characterisitcs

The anatomy  of a dodder is quite simple; they are leafless and slender, with   string-like stems that twine all around the host plant.  The stems may be yellow, orange, pink, or brown in color and are only 0.3 -1.5 mm thick.  Also clusters of small tubular white or yellow bell-like flowers form during the summer and fall.  As the flower matures, they produce tiny seeds that are viable (able to germinate) for up to 5 years.  Dodders can also reproduce from detached stem pieces vegetatively. 

Growth & Development

The dodder begins as a seed that germinates in the ground and forms a short anchoring root.  A slender stem grows in a spiral  manner until it reaches a host plant.   Once the dodder attaches itself to the host and entangles completely around it, it develops haustoria which are sucking organs that take nourishment such as water and minerals from the host by pentetrating it.  Once a dodder comes into contact with a host plant, the root-system shrivels and dies away.  This causes the dodder to be totally dependent on the host for survival, hence the name, "parasite".  As the dodder continually grows, new haustoria are formed and they settle firmly onto the host. 

Attack Techniques/Effects on Host Plant

As the branching network of the dodder expands, it can detect and attack other nearby plants.  It just continually twines its string-like web of stems around its host and possibily several other plants at once. Eventually, the dodder causes the host plant to be weakened and discolored after living off of it for some time.  With ideal growing conditions, the total stem lengths could equal to be almost more than a mile.  There has been a case where a single stem piece grew to 6 feet and 9 inches!

Control Methods

The dodder is especially harmful to alfalfa, clover, and flax crops.  After the dodder has attached itself to a host plant, there's no method to remove it completely.   However, there are  ways to  prevent it from attacking.  It is usually controlled by hand removal of the plants from the field or applying expensive and sometimes unreliable chemicals.  Also dodder can be controlled  by planting certified cleaned seeds and mowing the dodder patches in the fields bfore the seeds germinate.  These patches are scattered with fuel oil and burned.                     

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Vampire Lily

(Amorphophallus sap. 'Vampire' also called Saurmatum guttatum and Saurmatum venosum) - This extremely vigorous lily will attract blood sucking mosquitoes in clouds to hide underneath the shady leaves that overwhelm all other weedy competition. You should only consider visiting a colony of these Vampire   Lilies on a bight sunny day to prevent being drained of your blood by hungry winged things that fly or creep by night. This is our most popular Amorphophallus cultivar, probably because of its reputation as a tough survivor in harsh cold climates. Zones 6-11

Vampire Palm ColigalloPalm,Calyptrogyneghiesbreghtiana)    

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) 

Genus: Calyptrogyne (ka-lip-tro-GY-nee) 

Species: ghiesbreghtiana (gies-bregh-tee-AY-nuh) 

Category: Shrubs Palms

Height:36-48 in. (90-120 cm)                                                                        

Spacing: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Sun Exposure: Light Shade and Full Shade                                                 

Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not over water
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between watering.

 

Daylily 'Vampire Lestat'                                             

Family:Hemerocallidaceae

Genus: Hemerocallis(hem-er-oh-KAL-iss) 

Cultivar: Vampire Lestat (Lambert, 1990)                                       

Height:24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Bloom Time: Midseason (M)                                                            

Flower Size: Large (more than 4.5" diameter)                              

Blooming Habit: Nocturnal (noc.)  Extended (ext.)                              

Color Patterns: Eyezone                                                                        

Flower Fragrance: Slightly Fragrant                                                                                              

Foliage Habit: Semi-evergreen (sev.)                                                                                          

             Ploidy: Diploid

 

Daylily ‘Vampire Blood’        

Family: Hemerocallidaceae
Genus: Hemerocallis (hem-er-oh-KAL-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Vampire Blood (Krekler, 1987)
Height:12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Bloom Time:
Early (E)
Flower Size:
Large (more than 4.5" diameter)
Blooming Habit:Diurnal (diu.) Extended (ext.)
Bloom Color: Red Coral/Apricot
Color Patterns: Self
Flower Fragrance: No fragrance
Foliage Habit: Evergreen (ev.)

Ploidy:Diploid

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