Cassytha melantha R.Br.

Coarse Dodder-laurel

Prodr. 404 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Robust twiner, younger parts pubescent; stems terete, 1–4 mm thick, striate, glabrescent, green to reddish-green; haustoria 2–5 mm long. Leaves triangular-ovate, c. 1 mm long, c. 0.8 mm wide, red-pubescent. Inflorescence a single, or rarely clustered, 2–13-flowered spike; peduncle usually 20–30 mm long. Flowers ovoid, 2–3 mm long, 1.3–2 mm diam., subsessile to sessile; sepals triangular, 1–1.3 mm long, covered with short white, red and black hairs; petals ovate, 1.9–2.7 mm long, c. 1.5 mm wide, covered with short, retrorse, appressed black hairs. Fruit globular, 10–15 mm diam., glabrescent, pale green to creamish, often streaked blackish, drying black. Flowers mostly Jun.–Oct.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, OtR, RobP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also WA, SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Widespread throughout most of the State, but rare in wetter forests and at high altitudes. Commonest in drier woodlands (e.g. mallee scrubs), occasionally parasitizing cultivated exotic plants.

This is the most robust member of the genus, often extensively and densely draping over (and sometimes smothering) shrubs and trees.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Lauraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-09-04
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Magnolianae
order Laurales
family Lauraceae
genus Cassytha
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cassytha melantha in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cassytha melantha in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory