Dodder

Dodder, various plants in the genus Cuscuta,  are parasites that resembles shredded cheese.  I am not making this up.   Here's some Dodder that has completely taken over a large slope in Upper Newport Bay:

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An overview of Dodder here and here

I see it every once in a while in the hills around here, and a few years ago I found some in a Helichrysum by the driveway, just a few threads beginning.  I thought at first it was some pieces of orange thread.  I pulled it out, along with the Helichrysum stems it had attached to, and it has not returned.  I must have got it before it could produce seeds--a bullet dodged.   Too bad it's a nasty and destructive parasite, because it's cool-looking...well, sort of.  Who could have thought up a plant that looks like shredded cheese?

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