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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Fimbristylis quinquangularis (=F. miliacea)

Fimbristylis quinquangularis  (Synonyms:  F. miliacea, F. angularis, Scirpus miliaceus)

Recognize the problem

Family: Cyperaceae (sedge family)

Common names: Lesser fimbristylis, grass-like fimbristylis, fiveangle fimbry.

Thai: หญ้าหนวดแมว Ya nuad maew; หญ้ารัดเขียด Ya rat khiat (Central, Chai Nat); หญ้าหนวดปลาดุก Ya nuat plaa duk (Surat Thani).

Tufted, leafy annual or short lived perennial erect sedge with fibrous root system, without hairs, strongly tillering, 40-120 cm high.

Leaves: Stiff and thread-like (1.5-2.5 mm wide), up to 40 cm long, without prominent midrib.

Flowers: 6−10 cm long; rather lax and diffuse compound umbel with 6−50 spikelets; spikelets reddish brown, 2−4 mm long and either round or acute at apex.

Fruits/Seeds: Straw-coloured or pale ivory  three-angled nut, 0.2−0.3 mm long.  Produces 10,000 seeds per plant which can germinate immediately after reaching maturity. Seeds can remain viable for more than one year.


Origin: Uncertain.

Introduced: As contaminated seed.

Habitat: Occurs in damp, open waste places and along waterways.

Spread: Seeds are dispersed by water, wind and human-related activities or they can be eaten by cattle and germinate near droppings.

Invades: Abundant weed in rice plantations throughout tropical and subtropical regions.

Impacts: Fimbristylis quinquangularis competes with crops for light and nutrients. The weed interferes with management and can outcompete native vegetation.  It is a serious weed in rice and shows allelopathic activity, negatively affecting growth and development of other plant species. The weed is a secondary host of pest and diseases such as rice earhead bug (Leptocorisa acuta), paddy armyworm (Mythimna separate), rice sheath blight (Rhizoctonia solani).

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Thailand

Authors: CABI. Edited by Siriporn Zungsontiporn, R. Changsri, P. Prommart, A. Suriyawongtrakan, T. Jongrukthai, M. Poopath, P. Pornpongrungrueng, P. Triboun
Weed Science Group, Plant Protection Research and Development Office, Department of Agriculture
tel: 66 2 940 7409 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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