Herbs & Plants

Echinochloa crus-gali

Botanical Name: Echinochloa crus-gali
Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Genus: Echinochloa
Species: E. crus-galli

*Digitaria hispidula (Retz.) Willd.
*Echinochloa caudata Roshev.
*Echinochloa commutata Schult.
*Echinochloa crus-corvi (L.) P.Beauv.
*Echinochloa crus-pavonis var. austrojaponensis (Ohwi) S.L.Dai

Common Names: Barnyard grass, Cockspur (or cockspur grass), Barnyard millet, Japanese millet, Water grass, Common barnyard grass

Habitat: Barnyard grass commonly occurs throughout tropical Asia and Africa in fields and along roadsides, ditches, along railway lines, and in disturbed areas such as gravel pits and dumps. It also invades riverbanks and the shores of lakes and ponds. It occurs in all agricultural regions. This species is considered an invasive species in North America where it occurs throughout the continental United States. It is also found in southern Canada from British Columbia east to Newfoundland. It was first spotted in the Great Lakes region in 1843.

Barnyard grass is a tufted annual, tall and often weedy; culms erect to decumbent, 0.8-1.5 m tall, rather thick, branching at base.

Leaves flat, glabrous, elongate, 30–50 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, scabrous, slightly thickened at margin; ligules absent; sheaths smooth, lower ones often reddish; panicle 8–30 cm long, green or purple, exerted, somewhat nodding, densely branched, the branches to 5 cm long, erect or ascending sessile;

Spikelets 3–4 mm long, densely arranged on branches, ovoid, often long-awned, pale green to dull purple, short-bristly along veins; racemes spreading, ascending or appressed, the lower somewhat distant, as much as 10 cm long, sometimes branched; glumes and lower lemma minutely hairy on surface with longer more rigid hairs on veins; first glume about two-fifths as long as spikelet, deltoid, the second as long as the spikelet, short-awned; sterile lemma membranous, with a straight scabrous awn, 2–4 cm long or awnless; fertile lemma ovate-elliptic, acute, pale yellow, lustrous, smooth, 3-3.5 mm long. Fl.


Aug.-Oct.; seed maturing Sept.-Oct., up to 40,000/plant. Var. crusgalli has long, somewhat spreading papillose cilia at the summits of the internodes and bases of the branches in the inflorescence and short, very thick papillose cilia along the lateral nerves of the 2nd glume, sterile lemma, and somewhat spreading spikes”, and sterile lemmas with awns 0–10 mm long.

Medicinal Uses: Fresh plant juice (ca. 10 ml) mixed with dry turmeric powder (Curcuma longa) is given for the treatment of internal
haemorrhage by the Lodhas. Fresh plant decoction is applied on the carbuncle by the Mundas. Grains are used as a substitute of rice. by most of the tribes of the state.

The plant extract is used in diseases of the spleen. Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable in Java. Reported to be preventative and tonic, barnyard grass is a folk remedy in India for carbuncles, haemorrhages, sores, spleen trouble, cancer and wounds.

Edible Uses: The grain of some varieties is eaten by humans in times of scarcity and sometimes used for adulterating fennel. The roots are boiled to cure indigestion in the Philippines. The young shoots are eaten as a vegetable.


In the Hisar district of the Indian state of Haryana the seeds of this grass are commonly eaten with cultivated rice grains to make rice pudding or khir on Hindu fast-days.

Barnyard grass was one of the five most cultivated crops during Joseon Dynasty in Korea. Rural Development Administration of South Korean government discovered barnyard grass effectively lowers blood sugar and cholesterol when consumed according to Yonhap.

Japanese barnyard millet (Echinochloa esculenta), a domesticated form of E. crus-galli, is cultivated on a small scale in Japan, Korea and China.

Other Uses:
A warm-season grass used as cattle fodder and is sometimes cultivated for this purpose. It is also suited for silage, but not for hay. It is fed green to animals and provides fodder throughout the year; hay made from this plant can be kept up to 6 years. This grass is also used for reclamation of saline and alkaline areas, especially in Egypt.

This grass is readily eaten by wild animals: rabbits, deer, waterfowls, etc.

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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