Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. - POACEAE - Monocotyledon

Common name : Goose grass
Common name in Bengali : Binna challa, chapra, gaicha, malangakuri
Common name in Hindi : Jangali marua, jhingari
Common name in Urdu : Chhota madhana, madhani cheera

Habit - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Tufted grass - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Inflorescence formed by 4 to 5 spikes  - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Spikelets arranged in the lower face of the spike axis - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Spike detail - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Leaves arranged in flat position - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Base of the blade with long hairs - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Brief  membranous ligule - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Roots - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Botanical line drawing - © -

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Diagnostic characters Biology Ecology and distribution Nuisance Weed control Botany Uses/Remark References

Diagnostic characters :

Goose grass develops in dense, tufted annual grass. The roots are powerful and deep.
The leaves are rather wide and folded, arranged in flat position. They are raised all the long of culms. The blade is smooth, except in the upper surface where long flexuous hairs are provided. The leaf sheaths are flattened and the margins present bundles of long hairs.
Inflorescence is formed by 4 to 5 spikes green – light, raised obliquely from the extremity of the culm. Spikelet consists of 3 to 9 flowers; they are arranged in the lower face of the spike axis.

Biology :

Goose grass is an annual plant. It reproduces only by seeds. In warm regions E. indica grows and flowers at all seasons when moisture is sufficient.

Ecology and distribution :

Goose grass has an African origin, and spread throughout the tropics, sub-tropics and temperate regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Americas. In India, E. indica has a wide distribution (3300 kilometres from east to west, as well as north to south) due to the species’ wide ecological amplitude.
This plant loves light and is a weed problem mainly in crops grown in the warm and wet regions of the world. It settles down mainly in the rich and deep, muddy to sandy-muddy soils, well drained and being able to be compacted. It grows well in open ground and so is found in lawns, pastures and footpaths. It can stand much trampling. It is found in waste places and roadsides but prospers on arable land. It is present also in damp marshlands and is often most vigorous along irrigation field borders and canals.

Nuisance :

This weed is a major problem in almost all forms of agriculture between the tropics. In India, E. indica is a principal weed infesting cultivated soils of upland rice and cotton and vegetable farming’s.

Weed control :

- Biological
Natural enemies restricted to the genus Eleusine might well be considered for biological control of E. indica except in India or other regions where finger millet (E. coracana) is an important cereal. E. indica is reported to be attacked by more than 50 insects, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses.
- Chemical
In India, post-emergence application of 2_4-D at 500 g.I/ha or pre-emergence application of butachlor at 1.5 kg a.I/ha, Anilophos at 400 g/ha, Pretilachlor 1.0 kg/ha.
In Pakistan, pre-emergence or pre-incorporated use of atrazine (Aatrex), diuron (Karmex), metolachlor (Dual gold) or pendimethalin (Stomp) may fully wipe it out in summer crops.

Botany :

Densely tufted annual herb from 40 to 100cm tall.
Powerful and deep fibrous root system.
Culm strongly compressed, wide from 2 to 5mm. Smooth and hairless. Not branched, at first slept, then quickly raised. Dark and hairless nodes, the lower ones often rooted.
Alternate, distichous and raised obliquely. Leaf-sheath keeled, folded and hairless. Ligule membrano - ciliated and very brief (1mm high). Blade from 10 to 35cm long and from 3 to 10mm wide, linear, folded in the base then flattened towards the summit. Generally hairless, but provided with long flexuous hairs in the base of the upper face. Midrib marked. Margins finely scabrous and ciliate, especially near the ligule.
2 - 10 digitated racemes and raised obliquely, linear, 3 to 15cm long and 3 to 7mm wide. Spikelets three- to nine-flowered, sessile and arranged in 2 rows in the lower face of the rachis. They are laterally flattened fan-shaped, 4 to 8mm long and 3 to 6mm wide. Lower glume 1 to 3mm long and upper glume of 2,5 to 5mm long, membranous, lanceolated presenting a marked central scabrous nerve. Palea membranous, briefer than lemmas and more narrow. In maturity, spikelets dislocates itself between flowers.
Oblong-ovate, reddish brown to black. Length from 1 to 1.5mm, wrinkled transversely.
First leaves folded. Leaves arranged in a distichously way and raised obliquely. Blade elongated to linear, with the round summit, long from 2 to 10cm and 5mm wide.

Uses/Remark :

References :

- Le Bourgeois T., Jeuffrault E., Grard P., Carrara A. 2001. AdvenRun V.1.0. Les principales mauvaises herbes de La Réunion. CD-ROM. Cirad, SPV. France.
- Holm L. G., Plucknett D. L., Pancho J. V., Herberger J. P. 1991. The world’s worst weeds. Distribution and Biology. East-West Center by the University Press. Hawaii.
- Galinato M., Moody K., Piggin C. M. 1999. Upland rice weeds of South and Southeast Asia. IRRI. Philippines.
- Häfliger E., Scholz H. 1980. Grass Weeds 2. Documenta Ciba-Geigy. Switzerland.
- Nayyar M. M., Ashiq M. and Ahmad J. 2001. Manual on Punjab weeds (Part II). Directorate of Agronomy. Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad Pakistan.
- Waterhouse D. F. 1994. Biological control of weeds: Southeast Asian prospects. ACIAR Monograph No. 26, 302 pp.

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