Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Digitaria longiflora
(false couch grass)

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Datasheet

Digitaria longiflora (false couch grass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Digitaria longiflora
  • Preferred Common Name
  • false couch grass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • D. longiflora is locally important but with a limited capacity for invasiveness.
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    Compendia
    CAB International
    Wallingford
    Oxfordshire
    OX10 8DE
    UK
    compend@cabi.org
  • Distribution map More information

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Digitaria longiflora (Retz.) Pers.

Preferred Common Name

  • false couch grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Digitaria propinqua (R. Br.) P. Beauv.
  • Paspalum brevifolium Flüggé
  • Paspalum longiflorum Retz.
  • Syntherisma longiflora (Retz.) Skeels

International Common Names

  • English: Indian crabgrass; wire crabgrass

Local Common Names

  • China: chang hua ma tang

EPPO code

  • DIGLO (Digitaria longiflora)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page D. longiflora is locally important but with a limited capacity for invasiveness.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Digitaria
  •                                 Species: Digitaria longiflora

Description

Top of page D. longiflora is a stoloniferous, spreading species, often perennial, sometimes annual. Culm 10-60 cm tall, branching and often rooting at the nodes. Leaves rarely hairy on upper side, linear to ovate-lanceolate. Ligule membranous, truncate erose, sheath often hairy on lower leaves. Inflorescence composed of two to four very slender, digitately arranged racemes, each 1-10 cm long. Rhachis winged (0.5-0.8 mm wide), serrate. Spikelets 1.3-1.7 (-1.9) mm long and ca. 0.6 mm wide, or 2-2.5 times as long as wide, ternate; two subsessile, one pedicelled. Glumes: g1 a small rim or absent, g2 approximately equalling the spikelet, 3- to 5-nerved. Lemmas: L1 7-nerved. Fruit ellipsoid, pallid, light brown or light grey.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Grass / sedge
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

BeninPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
BotswanaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
Burkina FasoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
CameroonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNativeDujardin (1979); Holm et al. (1979)
Côte d'IvoirePresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
EswatiniPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
EthiopiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
GabonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
GhanaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
Guinea-BissauPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
KenyaPresent, WidespreadNativeClayton and Renvoize (1982); USDA-ARS (2003)
LiberiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
MalawiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
MaliPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
MozambiquePresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
NamibiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
NigeriaPresent, WidespreadNativeStanfield (1970); Holm et al. (1979)
RwandaPresentNativeBouxin (1975)
SenegalPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
Sierra LeonePresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
SomaliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
South AfricaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979); Oudtshoorn (1999)
SudanPresentHolm et al. (1979)
TanzaniaPresent, WidespreadNativeClayton and Renvoize (1982); USDA-ARS (2003)
TogoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
TunisiaPresentHolm et al. (1979)
UgandaPresent, WidespreadNativeClayton and Renvoize (1982); USDA-ARS (2003)
ZambiaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979); Parker (1992)
ZimbabwePresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)

Asia

BhutanPresent, LocalizedParker (1992)
CambodiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
ChinaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
-GansuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
Hong KongPresentHolm et al. (1979)
IndiaPresent, WidespreadNativeSingh and Deshpande (1978); Holm et al. (1979); CABI (Undated);
-BiharPresentMishra and Sandhya Jha (1996)
IndonesiaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979); CABI (Undated)
-SumatraPresentFujisaka et al. (1991)
IranPresentHolm et al. (1979)
IraqPresentHolm et al. (1979)
IsraelPresentHolm et al. (1979)
JapanPresentCABI (Undated a)
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
MalaysiaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
MyanmarPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
NepalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
North KoreaPresentCABI (Undated a)
PakistanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)
PhilippinesPresent, WidespreadNativeHolm et al. (1979); Pancho and Obien (1995); CABI (Undated)
Sri LankaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
TaiwanPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
ThailandPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
VietnamPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)

Europe

AustriaPresentHolm et al. (1979)
FrancePresentIntroducedJauzein (1992)

North America

Puerto RicoPresentBONAP (2004)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentHolm et al. (1979)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated a)
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2003)
-HawaiiPresentHolm et al. (1979)
-MarylandPresentBONAP (2004)

Oceania

AustraliaPresentNativeHolm et al. (1979)
-QueenslandPresentNativeAnderson et al. (1983)
French PolynesiaPresentHolm et al. (1979)
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2003)

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details
Disturbed areas Present, no further details

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)PoaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Reproductive Biology

Reproduction is via seeds, rhizomes and stolons (Häfliger and Scholz, 1980).

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes whole plants
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx flowers; whole plants
Fruits (inc. pods) fruits; whole plants
Growing medium accompanying plants seeds
Roots roots; whole plants
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants whole plants
True seeds (inc. grain) fruits; seeds; whole plants
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Leaves
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
Wood

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora None
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page Ther results of field trials in sugarcane in South Africa using glyphosate indicated that successful control of creeping grasses, including D. longiflora, could be expected to give the small grower substantial increases in yield and projected net income (Landrey et al., 1993). In India, D. longiflora and other weeds reduce rice productivity (Bhagat et al, 1977).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources

Uses

Top of page D. longiflora is cultivated as a fodder crop (Wells et al., 1986).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Host of pest

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page D. longiflora is sometimes confused with Cynodon spp., especially C. dactylon, which often occurs in the same habitat. Cynodon spp. usually have longer, narrower leaves and three or more racemes per inflorescence (van Oudtshoorn, 1999).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Glyphosate applied as a pre-sowing grass eradication treatment is recommended in sugarcane (Landrey et al., 1993). Hand weeding or treatment with piperophos + dimethametryn, dinitramine or oxadiazon have been used to control D. longiflora and Echinochloa crus-galli in rice (Bhagat et al., 1977).

References

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Anderson ER; Russell FJ; Scanlan JC; Fossett GW, 1983. Pastures under development in central Queensland. Part 1: Mackay region. Brisbane; Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

Bhagat RK; Prasad SC; Sinha PN; Singh AP, 1977. Effectiveness of pre-em. application of weedicides in upland rice. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 9(1):9-13

BONAP, 2004. US distribution of Digitaria longiflora. BONAP distribution data. Texas A&M University, USA. http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/cgi/b98_map?genus=Digitaria&species=longiflora.

Bouxin G, 1975. Ordination and classification in the savanna vegetation of the Akagera Park (Rwanda, Central Africa). Vegetatio, 29(3):155-167.

Clayton WD; Renvoize SA, 1982. Gramineae (Part 3) In: Polhill RM, ed. Flora of Tropical East Africa. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Balkema, 451-898.

Dujardin M, 1979. Additional chromosome numbers and meiotic behaviour in tropical African grasses from western Zaire. Canadian Journal of Botany, 57(8):864-876.

Fujisaka S; Kirk G; Litsinger JA; Moody K; Hosen N; Yusef A; Nurdin F; Naim T; Artati F; Aziz A; Khatib W; Yustisia, 1991. Wild pigs, poor soils, and upland rice: a diagnostic survey of Sitiung, Sumatra, Indonesia. IRRI Research Paper Series Manila, Philippines; IRRI, No.155:9pp.

Holm L; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1979. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Toronto, Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Häfliger E; Scholz H, 1980. Grass Weeds 1: Weeds of the subfamily Panicoideae. Basle, Switzerland: Documenta CIBA GEIGY.

Jauzein P, 1992. Some weeds found in France. Monde des Plantes, 87(443):28-30

Johnson DE, 1997. Weeds of rice in West Africa. West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), xvi + 312 pp.; 48 ref.

Landrey OP; Eichler GG; Chedzey J, 1993. Control of creeping grasses in small grower cane in the Umbumbulu district. Proceedings of the Annual Congress - South African Sugar Technologists' Association, No. 67:34-38

Mishra IN; Jha S, 1996. Nutritive profile of some grasses of Darbhanga. Environment and Ecology, 14(1):93-95.

Pancho JV; Obien SR, 1995. Manual of Ricefield Weeds in the Philippines. Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines: Philippine Rice Research Institute.

Parker C, 1992. Weeds of Bhutan. Weeds of Bhutan., vi + 236 pp.

Roy AK, 1973. Natural occurrence of Corticium sasakii on some weeds. Current Science, 42(23):842-843

Shuklu U, 1996. The Grasses of North-Eastern India. Jodhpur, India: Scientific Publishers.

Singh NP; Deshpande UR, 1978. A note on the nomenclatural changes in the Indian species of Digitaria Haller. Annals of Arid Zone, 17(3):332-333.

Stanfield DP, 1970. The Flora of Nigeria Grasses. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press.

Terry PJ; Michieka RW, 1987. Common Weeds of East Africa. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

USDA-ARS, 2003. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

van Oudtshoorn F, 1999. Guide to Grasses of Southern Africa. Arcadia, Pretoria, South Africa: Briza Publications.

Wells MJ; Balsinhas AA; Joffe H; Engelbrecht VM; Harding G; Stirton CH, 1986. A catalogue of problem plants in South Africa. Memoirs of the botanical survey of South Africa No 53. Pretoria, South Africa: Botanical Research Institute.

Distribution References

Anderson E R, Russell F J, Scanlan J C, Fossett G W, 1983. Pastures under development in central Queensland. Part 1: Mackay region. In: Pastures under development in central Queensland. Part 1: Mackay region. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries. 61pp.

BONAP, 2004. US distribution of Digitaria longiflora. In: BONAP distribution data, USA: Texas A&M University. http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/cgi/b98_map?genus=Digitaria&species=longiflora

Bouxin G, 1975. Ordination and classification in the savanna vegetation of the Akagera Park (Rwanda, Central Africa). Vegetatio. 29 (3), 155-167. DOI:10.1007/BF02390007

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Clayton W D, Renvoize S A, 1982. Flora of Tropical East Africa. Gramineae (Part 3). Rotterdam, Netherlands: A.A. Balkema. 448pp.

Dujardin M, 1979. Additional chromosome numbers and meiotic behaviour in tropical African grasses from western Zaire. Canadian Journal of Botany. 57 (8), 864-876. DOI:10.1139/b79-107

Fujisaka S, Kirk G, Litsinger J A, Moody K, Hosen N, Yusef A, Nurdin F, Naim T, Artati F, Aziz A, Khatib W, Yustisia, 1991. Wild pigs, poor soils, and upland rice: a diagnostic survey of Sitiung, Sumatra, Indonesia. In: IRRI Research Paper Series, Manila, Philippines: IRRI. 9 pp.

Holm L, Pancho J V, Herberger J P, Plucknett D L, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, Chichester (), Brisbane, Toronto, UK: John Wiley and Sons. xlix + 391 pp.

Jauzein P, 1992. Some weeds found in France. (Sur quelques adventices rencontrées en France.). Monde des Plantes. 87 (443), 28-30.

Mishra I N, Sandhya Jha, 1996. Nutritive profile of some grasses of Darbhanga. Environment and Ecology. 14 (1), 93-95.

Oudtshoorn F van, 1999. Guide to grasses of Southern Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: Briza Publications. 288 pp.

Pancho JV, Obien SR, 1995. Manual of Ricefield Weeds in the Philippines., Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines: Philippine Rice Research Institute.

Parker C, 1992. Weeds of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: National Plant Protection Centre. vi + 236 pp.

Singh N P, Deshpande U R, 1978. A note on the nomenclatural changes in the Indian species of Digitaria Haller. Annals of Arid Zone. 17 (3), 332-333.

Stanfield DP, 1970. The Flora of Nigeria Grasses., Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press.

USDA-ARS, 2003. Hedychium flavescens. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl

Distribution Maps

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