Snottygobble, Laurel-dodder (Cassytha pubescens and similar)

Cassytha pubescens, or 'snottygobble'.
Cassytha pubescens, or ‘Snottygobble’. You can eat the fruit, but don’t eat too many!

 

Cassytha flowers
Cassytha glabella flowers

 

Family: Lauraceae

Habitat: Woodlands

Flowering Time: C. glabella – Spring and Summer. C. pubescens – Spring

Description and uses: 

There are several similar plants in the genus Cassytha. The most common where we forage are C. pubescens (which has green flowers with fine hairs on them)and C. glabella, which has white flowers and no hair.

All of the local species in Cassytha  are parasitic, twining, climbers that can get to be quite a burden on the plants upon which they climb. The density of their growth gives them one of their other common names – ‘Devil’s Twine’.

Cassytha have small fruits that can be eaten in small amounts. If you hold the fruit in your mouth for a while while chewing it slowly, it releases quite a large amount of mucilage, hence the name ‘snottygobble’. Don’t eat too many of them though, they are quite a good laxative!

 

Cassytha stem
The tips of the stems are edible

 

The last two centimetres or so of the vine can be eaten too, its a little like Asparagus.

I like to keep a fruit in my mouth while walking in the bush to keep my mouth from drying out.

 

 

Cassytha pubescens fruit
pubescens‘ alludes to the tiny hairs that cover the plant