Herbs & Plants

Echinochloa colonum

Botanical Name: Echinochloa colonum
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Genus: Echinochloa
Species: E. colona

:Panicum colonum L.
*Echinochloa colonum (L.) Link (lapsus)
*Echinochloa equitans (Hochst ex A. Rich.) Hubb. ex Troup.
*Echinochloa zonalis (Guss.) Parl.
*Milium colonum (L.) Moench
*Oplismenus clonus (L.) Kunth
*Oplismenus muticus Philippi
*Oplismenus repens J. Presl
*Panicum equitans Hochst. ex A. Rich.
*Panicum incertum Bosc ex Steud.
*Panicum musei Steud.
*Panicum prorepens Steud.
*Panicum zonale Guss.

Common Names:
Jungle rice, Awnless barnyard grass, Corn panic grass, Deccan grass, jungle ricegrass, Shama millet [English]; armilán, Pasto del arroz, zancaraña, pasto colorado, liendre de puerco [Spanish]; Blé du Dekkan [French]; Capituva [Portuguese]; Rumput bebek, Rumput jajagoan kecil [Indonesian]; Suket tuton [Javanese]; Azz [Mauritania]; Padi burung [Malay]; C? l?ng v?c c?n [Vietnamese].

Habitat : The grass occurs throughout tropical Asia and Africa in fields, and along roadsides and waterways. It is considered an invasive weed in the Americas and Australia. In Australia, it has spread to wetlands, and is threatening the habitat of swamp tea trees.

Echinochloa colona (L.) Link) is an annual (rarely perennial) grass, 30-100 cm high. It is green to purple, tufted and shortly stoloniferous. Its culms are glabrous, cylindrical, erect and decumbent. They are red purple at their base and can root at the lower nodes (Catindig et al., 2011; Ecoport, 2011; FAO, 2011; Quattrocchi, 2006). The leaves are flat, 10 to 25 cm long, 3-7 mm wide, sometimes tinged with red at their base. The inflorescence is green to purple, 6-12 cm long and bears 4-8 short racemes on the main axis. The sessile awnless spikelets are arranged in 4 rows on one side of the racemes (FAO, 2011; Quattrocchi, 2006).

The grass is considered a noxious weed in several crops (see Environmental impact) and particularly in rice fields as it closely mimics rice in its vegetative growth stage (Catindig et al., 2011; Ecocrop, 2011). The young plants and shoots are edible and can be eaten in times of scarcity. It has also been cultivated as a cereal in Egypt and the seeds can be cooked or ground to make flour and used as a mush or porridge (Galinato et al., 1999; Quattrocchi, 2006). Echinochloa colona is a valuable fodder relished by all classes of livestock, notably dairy animals and water buffaloes (Catindig et al., 2011; Galinato et al., 1999; Manidool, 1992)


Edible Uses:
In India seeds of this grass are used to prepare a food dish called khichadi and are consumed during festival fasting days. In Gujarati is called “Samo” (????) or “Moriyo” in Marathi it is called ‘bhagar’ or “Vari cha Tandul” in Hindi it is called “Mordhan” or “Sava ka chawal”. Also called samay ke chawal

The 1889 book ‘The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ records that Panicum Colonum, (an earlier name for this plant) had common names which included “Shama Millet” of India; called also, in parts of India, “Wild Rice” or “Jungle Rice” and that it “Has erect stems from two to eight feet high, and very succulent. The panicles are used by the aboriginals as an article of food. The seeds are pounded between stones, mixed with water, and formed into a kind of bread. It is not endemic to Australia.

Medicinal Uses:
Fresh plant juice (ca. 10 ml) is given with a pinch of common salt to cure indigestion by the Lodhas. Fresh root paste is applied
for the treatment of acute burning pain on the sole by the Santals.

Cultivation & propagation:
Echinochloa colonum is an annual plant that can succeed in a wide range of environments from the temperate zone to the tropics. It can be found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 30°c, but can tolerate 6 – 42°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 – 1,200mm, but tolerates 400 – 2,000mm.

Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a rich moist soil but should succeed in ordinary garden soil. Tolerant of moderate levels of salt in the soil. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 – 6.5, tolerating 5 – 7 . It is intolerant of dry periods.

It can be easily grown from seeds.

Known Hazards: Jungle rice can be a serious problem in rice crops because the young plants closely resemble young rice plants. It can also be a weed in other crops.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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