Recognize the problem
Poaceae (grass family)
names: goose grass, wild finger millet
Chinsangwi; Yao: Chigombe; Luganda:
annual grass, stems trailing on the ground or erect. Up to 40 cm high. Flowering
stems with alternate leaves, most located toward the base of the stems; its
particularly tough root system makes it hard to pull out.
Fresh green in colour, without hairs; up to 8 mm wide and 15 cm long; flat or
folded along central vein (cross-section is V-shaped); leaf tip boat-shaped.
Branched; each flowering stem produces 3-8 flower heads ('branches') that
usually are attached at the tip of the flowering stem, although one or more
may be attached lower; flower heads 5-10 cm long, 5 mm wide, with two dense
rows of flowers.
The geographical origin is uncertain, but it is considered native to Africa
and temperate and tropical Asia.
Most typical of the tropics and sub-tropics, but with a worldwide
distribution; present on a wide range of soil types, but prefers highly
fertile soils; thrives well in full
sunlight, wet conditions and compacted soil.
Seeds are dispersed by wind and water, as a contaminant in crop seeds and soils,
and attached to animal fur and machinery.
Annual and perennial crops, pasture, disturbed natural habitats, margins of natural forests and grasslands,
marshes, stream banks and coastal areas, grows alongside roads, pavements,
and powerline corridors.
Eleusine indica may occur in virtually any annual crop in the tropics and
sub-tropics and also in many perennial crops and pastures. Crop losses due to
the weed have rarely been quantified, but it is frequently among the dominant
weed species and can lead to serious crop losses (20-70%, depending on crop
system). It is perhaps most conspicuous in annual row-crops such as cereals,
legumes, cotton, tobacco and vegetable crops in which it is able to establish
rapidly before there is adequate shading from the crop. The weed may cause
livestock poisoning and may act as an alternative host for crop pests and