Cassytha filiformis L.

Etymology Genus From the Greek word kassyo, meaning sew or patch. Reference to plant unknown.
Species Thread-like; referring to its form
Family Lauraceae
Synonyms Calodium cochinchinense Lour., Cassytha filiformis f. pycnantha Domin
Common Names Love Vine, Woe Vine, Bush-Dodder, Seashore-Dodder, Rambut Puteri
Status Native: Common
Form Climber
Native Distribution Pantropics, China, Japan


Cassytha filiformis can be found in our coastal areas and scrublands. It is leafless, with thread-like stems twining and climbing over its host in a tangle of mess. The stems can be either green or yellow.

Another similar species is Cuscuta australis, but this have clustered flowers rather than bearing on a stalk. The flowers also have petals. In C. filiforims, this is absent, and is surrounded instead by small scale-like tepals.

Interesting Facts:

The Love Vine is a parasitic vine that derives its nutrition from the host plant (mainly woody ones) where it attaches its sucker-like haustoria on. It is also auto-parasitic, and it is not uncommon to see them attaching the suckers on itself. With its chlorophyll containing green stem, the vine is also capable of photosynthesis.

It is traditionally treasured by Hawaiians as a "light-hearted or ceremonial human ornament and in decorative garlands and lei" (Scot, 2008).

Mess of fruiting Love Vine twining on the host and even itself.

Another view with both flowers and fruits.

Sucker-like haustoria parasitising on its host.

Flowers bearing together in spikes.



Scot CN. (2008) Cassytha filiformis. University of Hawaii at Mänoa, Hawaii. Plant Disease, 42.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-11-15