Cuscuta epithymum on basil

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Cuscuta epithymum on basil
« on: July 18, 2017, 04:19:18 PM »
I have a perennial basil which looked very healthy when I bought it at the local market a few weeks ago; after 4-5 days I discovered some strange yellow-whitish thin strands which were quickly almost covering the plant, and after some searching, I found that the basil was infested with the parasitic plant, Cuscuta epithymum, dodder, or in Greek Κουσκούτα or Μαλλιά του Διαβόλου - the devilís hair. I immediately quarantined it and made as much pesto as we can possibly eat, and I am going to get rid of the plant in a safe place.  I have never seen it before and I wonder if this a common parasitic plant in Greece?

by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr

by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.