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rice - the staple food - weed management

Echinochloa crus-galli

Family – Poaceae 

Scientific name – Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv 

Common name – S-bajiri, maratu, wel-marakku; T- kutirai, val-pul; E- Common barnyardgrass 

Synonyms – 

  • Panicum crus-galli L. (basionym), Panicum hispidulum Retz., Milium crus-galli (L.) Moench, Pennisetum crus-galli (L.) Baung 

Lifespan – Annual

Morphology –

  • Plant – erect; tufted; reclining at base; up to 200 cm tall.
  • Stem: in lower nodes rooting could be seen in culms culms rooting ;  cylindrical, filled with white spongy pith; no epidermal hairs could be seen.
  • Leaf: linear, 10−40 cm long, leaf base – broad round; leaf tip -narrow; no ligules present.
  • Inflorescence: compound racemes; green to purplish in colour, 10−25 cm long; spikelets elliptical and pointed, slightly hairy; awns green to purplish, 2−5 mm long

Biology and ecology –

  • Propagate by seeds.
  • Flowers throughout the year and produce seeds within 60 days.
  • Prefer moist to wet land;
  • Easily grow in direct-seeded rice fields

Agricultural importance –

  • A serious serious weed of lowland rice due to
    • rapid growth
    • competitive ability
    • capacity to multiply rapidly
  • Young shoots are edible
  • Used for reclaiming saline lands
  • Serves as feed for animals  


Cultural control: proper land preparation (under wet or dry conditions); hand weeding is difficult due to the similarity in morphology at early stages

Chemical control: use of recommended herbicides.

Photo credits –

  • http://www.conabio.gob.mx
  • https://courses.missouristate.edu
  • https://eunis.eea.europa.eu
  • http://www.fresnostate.edu
  • https://www.fs.fed.us
  • https://herbarium.cfans.umn.edu