The Bugwood Network

Japanese Dodder

from Clemson University Regulatory and Public Service Programs, web site at:

Japanese Dodder, Cuscuta japonica Choisy, a robust parasitic species was first collected on 12 October 1971 in the Horticultural Gardens at Clemson University on Pueraria (Kudzu). Specimens were forwarded to Kew, England where Dr. Bernard Verdcourt at Kew made the positive determination. Dr. John E. Fairey published the find in Castanea 42:98, 1977. This find represented the third report of this usual Asiatic species in the New World The first two occurrences were:

1941 - it was found on Pueraria inside a greenhouse in San Antonio, Texas.

1943 - it was found on Pueraria near Quincy, Gadsden Co., Florida.

This plant, parasitic to legumes, infested approximately two acres of Kudzu, Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, located on the Clemson University Horticultural Garden property.

First identified in 1971, this dodder went untreated until 1991 when The USDA, APHIS personnel decided to eradicate this pest from South Carolina.

Eradication Strategy

  1. Vegetation control

    1. Cultural. Remove all Cuscuta vegetative mats.
    2. Chemical. Use herbicides (Glyphosate and/or Dacthal) to kill all host and parasitic vegetation within the infested site to prevent further seed production.

  2. Controlled burn.

    Conduct a controlled burn of the infested area after the treated vegetation senesces. A thorough burn will clear the site of all remaining vegetation and kill all Cuscuta seed lying on the soil surface.

  3. Destroy seed remaining in the soil.

    1. Fumigate with Methyl bromide; applied under a soil trap.
    2. Sterilize soil:
      1. Use tractor mounted scarifier with propane torch to destroy subsurface seed.
      2. Apply Vapam as a soil drench.
      3. Apply Basamid granular to soil surface.

  4. Monitor site to insure eradication success.

    Periodic surveys are required to assess the eradication effort and new Cuscuta plants will be treated with recommended herbicides.

USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.