Monday, November 19, 2007

Love gone bad

This vine, known as the love vine, has several much more descriptive nicknames: woe, witch's hair, devil's gut or strangleweed.

Yes, it is very unloved around here, and for a good reason - it's a parasitic vine that grows into an insidious (fishing-like) net that eventually strangles the host (mostly live oaks). It produces small berries (dodders) which attach themselves to a new host, and thusly continue their...herbicide ;-)

So why the love vine name? According to Elizabeth Silverthorne's "Legends & Love of Texas Wildflowers", young lovers in England may have given the plant its name.

"It was said that if a man swung a bit of the vine three times around his head and then threw it backwards, he could find out if his sweetheart loved him. After three days, when he returned to the spot, if he found that the dodder has attached itself to another plant, it meant that the lady returned his love, but if the vine had died, she did not love him."

Anybody need me to swing the vine around?

20 comments:

Peter said...

Answering your question: Please go ahead!!

Nikon said...

I'm sorry but I've seemed to have dropped my berries.
Swing away :)

Me said...

It is a shame that such a robust and beautiful vine should turn out to be a parasite. Sad. But please, do not swing the vine for me, for my love loves me, and I love she.
Thanks,
Wayne

Me said...

One more Isabella, thanks for the Board Meeting comment, and I love the Battle Reenactment post. That was a classic. Great Post!
Thanks,
Wayne

Moi said...

haha.......i think i'll let go of my husband passing this test!!! :)

Jilly said...

I clicked on this photograph and said, out loud, 'Oh my God!' It's an amazing photograph of an extraordinary vine. It actually loooks evil. Of course I'm not long up after a night of bad dreams, so could be that.

No need to swing the vine around for me. I know my dog loves me!

Olivier said...

on dirait un arbre prit au piège d'une énorme toile d'araignée ;o). belle photo


It looks like a tree in the trap took a huge spider web ;o). A beautiful picture

oldmanlincoln said...

Very interesting post. It looks like hair too.

Zsolt said...

its very interesting..with a wonderful post!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We have a variety of dodder here, not sure if it is the same as yours, it has orange stems and its roots piece and suck the juices from other plants.

I always thought it was a reference to love gone bad--the kind of sick relationship where one person is domineering or parasitic on the other. Cool to here this story.

MY opening went great. Thanks. :-D

BORDEAU Alain said...

The tree with the hair of socière...ALAIN.

freefalling said...

It reminds me of Cher - all that swishing her hair around.
(ie - the young Cher I remember from when I was a kid and she was on tele with Sonny)

Isadora said...

Oyy, to have your love life depend on a vine. Then again, judging the state of my affairs, I should be thankful for whatever held out promise. :)

It is a lovely photo - if I remember correctly, there these were present in Texas as well. In NC there is a lush leaved vine that does similar damage.

ulysse said...

Thank you for your visit to my blog which allows me to disvover your's. And I see that we share the same passion for nature and pictures. I have lived in the USA for 3 years and had the opportunity to visit Florida where I saw this love vine but I didn't know the name and the story attached to it . Thank you for it .

Kate said...

I could do without that kind of love. No thanks, Isabella; I'll take my love where I find it.

Gwen said...

Those live oaks are such beautiful trees--I've never heard of this vine before, couldn't it be trimmed off of the trees.

Chris said...

I have seen that vine but didn't know anything about it. Thanks for the information. Do you guys have kudzu? It was all over the place in Georgia when we lived there. . . .

Glenn Standish said...

As usual Isabella...your pics are incredible. You really are a very lucky Pole to live in Florida!!!

JAM said...

Wow, I've never seen this stuff. It's like kudzu in it's ability to kill. I hope it doesn't grow as fast as kudzu.

WebOJ said...

Witch's hair suits it perfectly!! :-)