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Crowfoot grass

Scientific name: Dactyloctenium aegyptium
Synonyms: Beach wiregrass, Button grass, Duck grass, Giant button grass, Finger comb grass

picture discription
Photo by Jewel Kinilitan-Bissdorf


Cultivated and uncultivated areas, especially sandy soils

Affected crops

Most agricultural crops


Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, USA


The stem has a spreading, creeping and mat-forming structure. It roots at the lower nodes. The flower head has 2-7 spikelets borne at the tip of the stem. The seed head looks like a crow's foot, hence the name. Each plant may produce up to 60,000 seeds.

Effect and impact

The weed reduces yields as it competes in the nutrient uptake, moisture, and light during the growing season. It also interferes in the harvesting operation.

Methods of control

  1. Proper seed selection
  2. Thorough land preparation
  3. Regular field monitoring
  4. Hand weeding/hand pulling when the weeds are young
  5. Cultivation using farm or mechanical implements
  6. Removing weeds before they start to flower
  7. Mulching
  8. Closer planting
  9. Intercropping

External links


 to the top        PAN Germany, OISAT; Email oisat@pan-germany.org