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Orange string like thing on my eggplant?

Polk County, Florida, United States

I found something really unusual this morning on one of my eggplant seedlings. It looked like a piece of orange string and it was wrapped around the seedling (which is about 5-6" tall). The orange thing had no leaves or anything else on it but when I touched it the seedling broke in half where the orange thing was wrapped tightly around the stem. When I unwrapped it, it just feels like any thin vine but without leaves and it's orange. Does anyone know what this might be? I have never seen it before and it wasn't on anything else in the garden. I don't even know what to look under if I was to google it. Thanks for any help!

On plant Solanum melongena (Aubergine)



Well this sounds very interesting! It might have been some kind of fungus - mycology is something I'm quite interested in and I know there are several species that match your description in one way or another. However, I am not aware of any that would attack a seedling and kill it - they mostly live by decomposing dead organic matter. If I was to guess, then I would say that it was a fungus that was present in your compost that then grew a fruiting body alongside your seedling - Possibly out-competing it for resources. It's just a guess, but I wonder? Maybe someone else can make other suggestions???

25 Apr, 2008


You need to get rid of this thing now! We bought a farm in 1985. The first year, we noticed an alfalfa plant with a strange color. Looked close and found it to be covered with a yellowish/orange string looking stuff. We were lucky to have a neighbor who was a homesteader and had seen it all. He told us to remove the plant if possible or remove all the plant twining on it. It is a parasitic plant called dodder. It has no roots. Lives on the host and makes seeds which fall off and grow onto another plant. You can go on google or any site and look it up. Interesting plant. Happy Gardening!!

8 May, 2008


Yes, I had a response from Sid and he thought it might be a fungus so I started searching and found that it was dodder. We had been hauling in lots and lots of horse manure and I understand that if an animal eats alfalfa infested with dodder that it can then spread through the manure. This was so interesting to me as I had never seen or heard of such a thing. I haven't seen anymore which seems unusual because our whole garden was covered in manure. Maybe we got lucky although I'm out there everyday checking for it. Thanks so much for your response and also thank-you Sid!

9 May, 2008

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