Back home in North Carolina, I was used to seeing infestations of dodder by the side of the road. I was rather fascinated by it because it looks more like some kid went nuts with a can of Silly String than a plant.
This summer I was amazed to see it in Utah. I hadn't realized it could grow in this arid climate.So I looked it up on the USDA web site.
It's nastier stuff than I realized, and more widespread. It grows in every state except Alaska.
This infestation is less than a mile from my house.
Believe it or not, dodder is a vascular plant, Since it lives entirely as a parasite, it doesn't need to have leaves to photosynthesize, nor chlorophyll. It doesn't need roots once it gets it's vicious little holdfasts into its victim plant. So all dodder is is vining, twining, strangling stems and flowers to make more dodder. As far as I know, it doesn't do anyone or anything any good.
What can you do about it?
Tear out every speck of it you find, bag it and throw it away. It's a good idea to destroy the plant it was parasitizing too. Even if it does strangle bindweed.