Fimbristylis dichotoma (tall fringe rush)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Fimbristylis dichotoma (L.) Vahl (1805)
Preferred Common Name
- tall fringe rush
Other Scientific Names
- Fimbristylis annua (non R & S) Merr.
- Fimbristylis communis Kunth
- Fimbristylis diphylla (Retz.) Vahl
- Fimbristylis laxa Vahl
- Fimbristylis longispica (non Steud.) Clarke
- Fimbristylis polymorpha Boeck.
- Fimbristylis squarrosa (non Vahl) Miq.
- Scirpus dichotomus L. (1753)
- Scirpus diphyllus Retz.
International Common Names
- English: forked fringerush; twoleaf fimbristylis
- Spanish: arrocillo
- French: fimbristylis dichotome
Local Common Names
- Brazil: falso alecrim da praia
- Colombia: arrocillo; cortadera; coyolillo; namu
- Germany: Einjährige Fransenbinse
- Japan: tentsuki
- Malaysia: rumput kepala lalat; rumput para-para; rumput purun batu
- Taiwan: pyau-fo-tsau
- USA/Hawaii: futaba tentsuki; futaba-tentsuki; futabo-tentuki
- FIMAN (Fimbristylis annua)
- FIMDI (Fimbristylis dichotoma)
- FIMSQ (Fimbristylis squarrosa)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page F. dichotoma is an aggressive invader in favourable environments. It is most noted as a weed of paddy rice.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Cyperaceae
- Genus: Fimbristylis
- Species: Fimbristylis dichotoma
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page The genus Fimbristylis belongs to the sedge family (Cyperaceae) and is characterized by the spiral arrangement of the glumes of its spikelets; in Cyperus species, the glumes are presented in two rows. It is a very polymorphous species, variable in habit, hairiness, size of inflorescence, size of glumes, number of stamens and shape of fruits. Several subspecies or varieties are recognized: F. dichotoma subsp. (or var.) dichotoma (perennial, sometimes stiffly hairy), F. dichotoma subsp. depauperata (annual, often softly hairy), F. dichotoma var. laxa (stout perennial), F. dichotoma var. pluristriata (annual with orbicular nutlet).
DescriptionTop of page F. dichotoma is a tufted erect, annual or perennial plant, 10-80 cm tall, with numerous long stems about 2 mm in diameter, slightly three-angled, compressed below the inflorescence, nodeless, smooth. The root system is fibrous, wiry, black. Short rhizomes. Leaves numerous, forming a dense tuft at the base of the stem, being at least half as long as the stem, 1.5-5.0 mm wide, sheath margin membranous. Blades flat or slightly concave, abruptly acuminate, without an evident midrib, glabrous or somewhat pubescent, colour green or green-bluish. Ligules a dense fringe of short hairs. Involucral bracts leaf-like, 2-5, relatively short, the lowest can reach the length of the largest ray of the inflorescence (up to 20 cm). Inflorescence a simple or compound, loose or dense umbel. Spikelets some sessile others on distinct slender stalks, plump and rather egg-shaped, pointed, up to 5 mm long and 2 mm broad, round in section, glumes spirally arranged, imbricate, ovoid or ovoid-lanceolate, 3-10 mm long, fertile glumes shortly mucronate. Spikelets multi-flowered, one to three stamens, style short, thick, two-branched at the apex.
Fruit an obovate to broadly obovate nutlet, 0.8-1.2 mm long, 0.8-1.0 mm wide, biconvex, hard, dry, with about ten longitudinal grooves and transversal lines, brownish, apex round to truncate, at times with the two-branched style persistent.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
Grass / sedge
DistributionTop of page F. dichotoma is widely distributed in Asia and Africa, as well as in other parts of the tropics.
Distribution TableTop of page
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Afghanistan||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|China||Restricted distribution||Native||Invasive||Holm et al., 1991|
|-Hong Kong||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|-Indian Punjab||Present||Bir et al., 1992a|
|-Uttar Pradesh||Present||Srivastava and Vaishya, 1993|
|Indonesia||Restricted distribution||Native||Invasive||Holm et al., 1991|
|Iraq||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Israel||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Japan||Present||Tsujimura, 1979; Holm et al., 1991|
|Korea, Republic of||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Malaysia||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Pakistan||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Philippines||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Sri Lanka||Present||IRRI, 1989|
|Taiwan||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Thailand||Present||Nemoto et al., 1987; Holm et al., 1991|
|Vietnam||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Burkina Faso||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Cameroon||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Gambia||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Ghana||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Guinea||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Kenya||Present||Haines and Lye, 1983|
|Liberia||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Mali||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Nigeria||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972; Holm et al., 1991|
|Senegal||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1972|
|Tanzania||Present||Haines and Lye, 1983|
|Uganda||Present||Haines and Lye, 1983|
|-North Carolina||Present||Native||USDA-NRCS, 2003|
|-South Carolina||Present||Native||USDA-NRCS, 2003|
Central America and Caribbean
|Puerto Rico||Present||Native||USDA-NRCS, 2003|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|United States Virgin Islands||Present||Native||USDA-NRCS, 2003|
|Brazil||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982; Kissmann, 1997|
|-Goias||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Not invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Mato Grosso do Sul||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Not invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Minas Gerais||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Not invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Parana||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Santa Catarina||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Sao Paulo||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Invasive||Lorenzi, 1982|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present||Langkamp et al., 1981|
|Fiji||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|French Polynesia||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
HabitatTop of page F. dichotoma grows well on wet or even flooded soil; it is also found in uplands where the soil has good water retention. It is also found in swamps, open waste places, grassy roadsides, Imperata cylindrica grasslands and some plantation crops. It is a tropical weed, occurring at altitudes up to 1500 (-2500) m in Papua New Guinea (Soerjani et al., 1987).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Present, no further details|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page The crops that are most affected by F. dichotoma are those growing on paddy soil, particularly rice. In addition to the crops listed, it can be common and troublesome in pastures (Holm et al., 1977).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
Biology and EcologyTop of page Genetics
F. dichotoma is a very variable species. Chromosome analysis of populations from the Indian Punjab has been carried out by Bir et al. (1992a, b).
F. dichotoma reproduces by seeds. Flowering and seed production occur during most of the year. Many seeds are produced which fall to the ground and germinate quickly (Holm et al., 1977). Some seeds can survive in the soil for up to 3 years. Growth of the plants is very rapid.
F. dichotoma exists as a perennial when conditions are favourable, otherwise it occurs as an annual.
It can be found at altitudes from 0 to 1500 m in Indonesia (Holm et al., 1977) and to 1800 m in Colombia (Aristizabal and Posada, 1987). In Brazil, it is found mostly in coastal areas, at altitudes up to 300 m. Where temperatures drop below 10°C, the plant exists only as an annual.
F. dichotoma grows best in moist soils, including poorly aerated soils. It appears to be better adapted to upland soils than F. miliacea (Holm et al., 1977). In Japan, it has been found growing on acidic soils (pH <3) on volcanoes (Tsujimura, 1979) and, in Thailand, it is able to survive high salinity (Nemoto et al., 1987).
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||5|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||17||25|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||20||30|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||15||20|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||1||2||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||1500||2500||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Summer
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
- very acid
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Natural Dispersal (non-biotic)
Seeds can be distributed by water.
Vector Transmission (biotic)
Grazing cattle ingest the plants and undigested seeds are excreted without much loss in germinability.
When preparing the soil for planting rice or other crops, the movement of earth and water can disperse the seeds of this and other species of weeds.
Nutlets (achenes) and parts of spikelets can contaminate seeds of pasture grasses (Tasrif, 1990).
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||seeds|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||Negative|
ImpactTop of page A heavy infestation of F. dichotoma in a rice field affects productivity by competing for nutrients, causing plants to lodge and making mechanical harvesting almost impossible. It is also costly to control the weed.
Environmental ImpactTop of page Plants can clog canals, affecting water flow.
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page F. dichotoma has the capacity to choke other species, altering the local flora.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly mobile locally
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page Cattle may graze on F. dichotoma (Holm et al., 1977) but it has low nutritional value. It is considered a poor green manure crop and has been used to make inferior mats in the Philippines (Holm et al., 1977).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page Fimbristylis spp. are common weeds of rice (IRRI, 1989). The shape of the nutlet (sometimes known as a nut or achene) is a simple diagnostic character of some common sedge weeds of rice: species with a biconvex nutlet are F. acuminata, F. aestivalis, F. dichotoma, F. tomentosa; species with a three-angled nutlet include F. miliacea (=F. littoralis) and many weedy Cyperus spp.
Prevention and ControlTop of page Introduction
F. dichotoma has many similarities to F. miliacea and can be controlled in much the same way (see the data sheet on this species).
The key to successful cultural control in rice is the establishment of a competitive crop stand. This includes the sowing of weed-free crop seed into a clean seedbed, use of competitive varieties (fast growing, tall and leafy varieties) and maintaining a healthy crop.
Inter-row cultivation is an effective, though somewhat laborious, method of control. This should be done when the F. dichotoma is a seedling or small plant and before it competes with the crop. Hand-pulling can be applied to large plants but, by then, the crop will have suffered modest competition.
Herbicides cited as being suitable for weed control in rice included molinate (pre-emergence) and propanil (early post-emergence; Soerjani et al., 1987).
ReferencesTop of page
Aristizabal AG; Posada HR, 1987. Descripción de Malezas em Plantaciones de Café. Bogota, Colombia: Cenicafé, 44-45.
Bir SS; Cheema P; Sidhu MK, 1992. Chromosomal analysis of Fimbristylis Vahl in Punjab, North West India. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. Part B, Biological Sciences, 58(1):63-70.
Haines RW; Lye KA, 1983. The Sedges and Rushes of East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Natural History Society.
Holm GL; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1991. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Krieger, Malabar, Florida.
Hutchinson J; Dalziel JM, 1972. Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 3. 2nd edition. London, UK: Crown Agents.
IRRI, 1989. Weeds Reported in Rice in South and South East Asia. Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute.
Kissmann KG, 1997. Plantas Infestantes e Nocivas. Tomo 1, edition 2. Brazil: BASF, 256-258.
Langkamp PJ; Farnell GK; Dalling MJ, 1981. Acetylene reduction rates by selected leguminous and non-leguminous plants of Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Botany, 29(1):1-9.
Lorenzi H, 1982. Plantas Daninhas do Brasil. Nova Odessa, San Paulo, Brazil: H. Lorenzi.
Napper DM, 1965. Cyperaceae of East Africa - III. Cyperus L. Journal of the East African Natural History Society, 25(1):1-27.
Robertson SA, 1989. Flowering Plants of Seychelles. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens.
Soejani M; Kostermans AJGH; Tjitrosoepomo G, 1987. Weeds of Rice in Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: Balai Pustaka.
Srivastava AK; Vaishya RD, 1993. Effect of nitrogen and weed management practices on nitrogen uptake by weeds in puddled seeded rice. Integrated weed management for sustainable agriculture. Proceedings of an Indian Society of Weed Science International Symposium, Hisar, India, 18-20 November 1993 Hisar, Haryana, India; Indian Society of Weed Science, Vol. III:43-45
Tasrif A, 1989. Weed seeds intercepted from grass and germination ability. BIOTROP Special Publication, No. 38:237-242.
Tsujimura A, 1979. The arrangement of the vegetation of Solfataras according to pH value of soils. Ecological Review, 19(2):59-65.
USDA-NRCS, 2003. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, USA. http://plants.usda.gov.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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