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Golden Dodder

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Botanical Name: Cuscuta campestris
Other Common Names:

Declarations

 
Class Regions
Class 4Bland Shire Council,Bogan Shire Council,Bourke Shire Council,Brewarrina Shire Council,Cabonne Council,Castlereagh Macquarie County Council,Central Darling Shire Council,Cobar Shire Council,Cootamundra Shire Council,Cowra Council,Dubbo City Council,Forbes Shire Council,Mid-Western Regional Council,Narromine Shire Council,Orange City Council,Parkes Shire Council,Upper Macquarie County Council,Weddin Shire Council,Wellington Council
Landholder Responsibilities: Growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed
Why Is It Bad?: Control of Golden Dodder is of high importance in the Lachlan Valley due to the severe impacts it can have on the fodder and cropping industries. It is of particular concern during the drought period Lachlan Valley is currently experiencing as there is increased movement of potentially contaminated fodder in the region. Contaminated crops have significantly lower yields and are of lower monetary value. Golden Dodder is also suspected of poisoning stock, causing intestinal disorders in horses and cattle.

Identification

Habit:  
Leaves: Golden Dodder is a parasitic twiner with thin, thread-like, yellow stems. It is virtually leafless.
Flowers: Bell shaped and clustered, flowers are white or pink, with 5 petals, 2-3mm long and 15mm in diameter. Flowering generally occurs during spring months
Fruit: Pear-shaped capsules form in summer-autumn, each containing 4 seeds
Roots: There are no true roots, haustoria (suckers) attach to the host plant and remove nutrients

Control Methods

Manual Removal: Infected host plants are cut off at the base, and burnt. Lucerne plants can survive this and regrow. Careful monitoring should be undertaken to ensure Golden Dodder does not reshoot from the crown.
Chemical Use: There are no sprays available to selectively control Golden Dodder, host plants will also die (although Lucerne and some other species will regrow from undamaged crowns). Golden Dodder and all host plant material should then be burnt to ensure mature seed is also killed.
Fire: Infected host plants are cut off at the base, and burnt. Lucerne plants can survive this and regrow. Careful monitoring should be undertaken to ensure Golden Dodder does not reshoot from the crown.
Slashing & Cutting: Should not be used as it promotes the spread of Golden Dodder
Biological Control:
Grazing:
Cultivation & Scalping: Golden Dodder seed generally will not germinate from a depth greater than 7.5cm.
Smothering:
Solarisation:
Competition: By planting winter crops or grasses instead of susceptible summer crops, the soil seed bank can be exhausted, reducing the risk of future infestations.
Monitoring: Successful treatment programs rely on ongoing monitoring of sites. Regrowth and new seedlings can easily become larger infestations if follow-up treatments are not part of the management program.

Images

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Image Credit: Don Mackenzie


Image Credit: Don Mackenzie





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