Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Fimbristylis littoralis
(lesser fimbristylis)

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Datasheet

Fimbristylis littoralis (lesser fimbristylis)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Fimbristylis littoralis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • lesser fimbristylis
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • F. littoralis is a tufted leafy annual or short-lived herb (sedge) included in the Global Compendium of Weeds where it is listed as an agricultural and environmental weed (...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Inflorescence of F. littoralis, Kalimantan.
TitleInflorescence
CaptionInflorescence of F. littoralis, Kalimantan.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Inflorescence of F. littoralis, Kalimantan.
InflorescenceInflorescence of F. littoralis, Kalimantan.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Infestation of F. littoralis in rice in Kalimantan.
TitleInfestation
CaptionInfestation of F. littoralis in rice in Kalimantan.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Infestation of F. littoralis in rice in Kalimantan.
InfestationInfestation of F. littoralis in rice in Kalimantan.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Young plants showing flattened shoot base.
TitleFlattened shoot bases
CaptionYoung plants showing flattened shoot base.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Young plants showing flattened shoot base.
Flattened shoot basesYoung plants showing flattened shoot base.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Inflorescence a lax, diffuse compound umbel, 6-10 cm long.
TitleInflorescence - line drawing
CaptionInflorescence a lax, diffuse compound umbel, 6-10 cm long.
CopyrightNOVARTIS
Inflorescence a lax, diffuse compound umbel, 6-10 cm long.
Inflorescence - line drawingInflorescence a lax, diffuse compound umbel, 6-10 cm long.NOVARTIS
Glumes ovate, brown, ca 1 mm long, membraneous, obtuse or acute, the green midvein or keel broad.
TitleGlumes - line drawing
CaptionGlumes ovate, brown, ca 1 mm long, membraneous, obtuse or acute, the green midvein or keel broad.
CopyrightNOVARTIS
Glumes ovate, brown, ca 1 mm long, membraneous, obtuse or acute, the green midvein or keel broad.
Glumes - line drawingGlumes ovate, brown, ca 1 mm long, membraneous, obtuse or acute, the green midvein or keel broad.NOVARTIS
Leaves 1.5-2.5 mm wide, up to 40 cm long.
TitleLeaf - line drawing
CaptionLeaves 1.5-2.5 mm wide, up to 40 cm long.
CopyrightNOVARTIS
Leaves 1.5-2.5 mm wide, up to 40 cm long.
Leaf - line drawingLeaves 1.5-2.5 mm wide, up to 40 cm long.NOVARTIS
F. littoralis nut.
TitleNut - line drawing
CaptionF. littoralis nut.
CopyrightNOVARTIS
F. littoralis nut.
Nut - line drawingF. littoralis nut.NOVARTIS

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Fimbristylis littoralis Gaud. (1826)

Preferred Common Name

  • lesser fimbristylis

Other Scientific Names

  • Fimbristylis flaccida Steud.
  • Fimbristylis hatsusimae Ohwi
  • Fimbristylis littoralis var. koidzumiana (Ohwi) T.Koyama
  • Fimbristylis littoralis var. macrostachya (J.Kern) J.Kern
  • Fimbristylis miliacea sensu authors, non (L.) Vahl
  • Fimbristylis quadrangularis A.Dietr. ex Steud.
  • Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth (1837)
  • Fimbristylis tetragona A.Dietr.
  • Scirpus miliaceus L. (1759)

International Common Names

  • English: fimbry; grass-like fimbristylis; grasslike fimbry
  • Spanish: barba de fraile; barba de ndio; pajarillo; pajon de agua (Dominican Republic); pelo mico; tussia

Local Common Names

  • : pelo de chino
  • Brazil: cabelo-de-negro; cominho; pelunco
  • Indonesia: adas-adasan; babawangan; bulu mata munding; panon munding; riwit; sunduk welnt; tumbaran
  • Japan: hideriko
  • Korea, DPR: barambaneulgiji
  • Malaysia: janggut keli; rumput bukit; rumput keladi; rumput tahi kerbau
  • Philippines: bungot-bungot; gumi; sirau-sirau; sirisibuyas; taulat; ubod-ubod
  • Taiwan: mu-shih-tsau
  • Thailand: yah nuad maew; yah nuad pladouk

EPPO code

  • FIMLI (Fimbristylis littoralis)
  • FIMMI (Fimbristylis miliacea)
  • FIMQU (Fimbristylis quinquangularis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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F. littoralis is a tufted leafy annual or short-lived herb (sedge) included in the Global Compendium of Weeds where it is listed as an agricultural and environmental weed (Randall, 2012). It has escaped from cultivation and become established along waterways and wetlands (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). The species is of particular concern in rice plantations around the world (Holm et al., 1977). It shows allelopathic activity and once established it can change features of ecosystem functions including hydrological cycles, biophysical dynamics, nutrient cycles, and community composition (Holm et al., 1977; Holou et al., 2013).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Cyperaceae
  •                             Genus: Fimbristylis
  •                                 Species: Fimbristylis littoralis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Fimbristylis is a large genus of at least 100 species and a number can occur as weeds (20 species are listed by Holm et al., 1979). The most common of these species is F. littoralis.

The name Fimbristylis miliacea (listed as a synonym of F. littoralis), has been used in two different senses based on two specimens of type material side by side in the Linnaean herbarium (LINN) which are different taxa. The first sheet, 71:40 is the species with ovoid spikelets, otherwise known as Fimbristylis quinquangularis and the second, 71:41, is the species with globose spikelets circumscribed by Vahl as F. miliacea. Rejection of the name Scirpus miliaceus (Fimbristylis miliacea) was necessary to stabilize the nomenclature and eliminate the name as a source of confusion (Acevedo and Strong, 2012).

Description

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Annual or perennial tufted, erect sedge with fibrous root system; culms slender, 40-60 cm tall, four- or five-angled and often somewhat flattened; leaves 1.5-2.5 mm wide, up to 40 cm long, basal leaves half as long as culm, linear, threadlike and stiff, two-ranked, with sheaths; leaf bract shorter than inflorescence; inflorescence a rather lax and diffuse compound umbel, 6-10 cm long, spikelets globose or ovate, 2.5-4 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, round or acute at apex, reddish brown, the lower scales fall early; stigmas three-branched, rarely in a few flowers two-branched; anthers yellow; glumes ovate, brown, about 1 mm long, spirally arranged, membraneous, obtuse or acute, the green midvein or keel broad.

Achenes obovoid, trigonous, biconvex, and apiculate at apex, 0.6-1 ×0.75 mm, pale ivory to brown, reticulate, and verrucose.

Seedlings

The leaf-sheath is closed at the base and the plant is often, though not always, laterally compressed (flat in cross-section) and smooth without hairs throughout (glabrous). Young leaves are triangular and no more than 0.5 mm wide. Two nearly equal angles form a short side and the third acute angle maintains an overall flat cross-section. There is about 0.5 mm of a jagged, almost toothed edge at the hyaline top of a membrane that extends down the leaf sheath. The first two leaves are narrower than later leaves and are 5-10 mm long. These recurve toward the soil and atrophy quickly. Each succeeding leaf that grows is stronger (after Zimdahl et al., 1989).

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Biennial
Grass / sedge
Seed propagated

Distribution

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There is lack of agreement on the origin of this species complex. According to Haines and Lye (1983), F. miliacea (sensu stricto) has an Asian origin. Other authors such as Waterhouse (1993a) and Holm et al. (1979) indicate that the complex originates in tropical America. What is clear is that the F. littoralis/miliacea complex as a whole is now common throughout the tropics, occurring wherever rice is grown in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Pacific and the Caribbean area (Holm et al., 1977).

The species has been listed as either native or introduced by different authorities for a number of countries and regions. For example, USDA-ARS (2014) lists it as introduced in Brazil, while Alves et al. (2014) list the species as a synonym of Fimbristylis miliaceae which they consider native to Brazil.

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

BeninPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
Burkina FasoPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1991); Holou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
Equatorial GuineaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
GabonPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
GambiaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
GhanaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveNapper (1972); Holou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
Guinea-BissauPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
KenyaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHaines and Lye (1983); Holou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
MadagascarPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
MauritaniaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
MauritiusPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
NigerPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
NigeriaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1991); Holou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
RéunionPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
SenegalPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveNapper (1972); Holou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
SeychellesPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHolou et al. (2013); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
TanzaniaPresentNative and IntroducedInvasiveHaines and Lye (1983); Holm et al. (1991); Govaerts (2014)Weed. Has been listed as both native and introduced
-Zanzibar IslandPresentHaines and Lye (1983)
UgandaPresentHaines and Lye (1983)

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
BangladeshPresentHolm et al. (1991)
BhutanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014); Pradhan and Chettri (1987)
BruneiPresentIntroducedInvasiveWaterhouse (1993)
CambodiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveWaterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1991)
ChinaPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-AnhuiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-ChongqingPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-GansuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HubeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HunanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-JiangsuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-JiangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-QinghaiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-ShaanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-ShandongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
Hong KongPresentHolm et al. (1991)
IndiaPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-AssamPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
IndonesiaPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-JavaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-Maluku IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-SulawesiPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-SumatraPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
IranPresentNativeCABI (Undated)
IraqPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
JapanPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
LaosPresentWaterhouse (1993)
MalaysiaPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
MyanmarPresentHolm et al. (1991)
NepalPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
North KoreaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
PakistanPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
PhilippinesPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
SingaporePresentIntroducedInvasiveWaterhouse (1993)
South KoreaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
Sri LankaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
TaiwanPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
ThailandPresentIntroducedInvasiveWaterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1991)
VietnamPresentNativeGovaerts (2014); Holm et al. (1991)

North America

BelizePresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
Costa RicaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
CubaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
El SalvadorPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
GrenadaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
GuatemalaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
HaitiPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
HondurasPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
JamaicaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)Agricultural and environmental weed
NicaraguaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
PanamaPresentUSDA-ARS (2014)
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedInvasiveAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
United StatesPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2014)Weed

Oceania

AustraliaPresentHolm et al. (1991)
-Northern TerritoryPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-QueenslandPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
-Western AustraliaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentNativeGovaerts (2014)
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveSmith (1979); Holm et al. (1991)
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlorence et al. (2013)
GuamPresentNativeFosberg et al. (1987)
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNativeFosberg et al. (1987)
PalauPresentNativeFosberg et al. (1987)
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
SamoaPresentPIER (2014)
Wallis and FutunaPresentPIER (2014)

South America

BoliviaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
BrazilPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
ColombiaPresentIntroducedCABI (Undated)
EcuadorPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
French GuianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)
GuyanaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
PeruPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
SurinamePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014); Holm et al. (1991)
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2014)

History of Introduction and Spread

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The origin of F. littoralis is still uncertain and it is therefore difficult to establish its history of introduction. In the West Indies, it was probably introduced as a contaminant during the last part of the nineteenth century. In Puerto Rico it was first collected in 1886 in Yabucoa (US National Herbarium).

Risk of Introduction

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F. littoralis is not a pest of quarantine importance.

Habitat

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F. littoralis occurs in damp, open waste places where it may not establish itself well in submerged conditions but may compete heavily following germination during dry periods or during low water conditions (Holm et al., 1991). F. littoralis has posed serious problems in paddy rice in recent years, and is recorded as dominant in the coastal and inland transplanted ricefields around the river Muda in Malaysia (Holm et al., 1991). It is also common on wetlands in the Philippines.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural
Freshwater
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Natural
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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F. littoralis is one of the most important weeds affecting rice plantations in practically every location in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world where this crop is cultivated (Holm et al., 1977). It is also found in bananas and maize in Taiwan, abaca [Musa textilis] in the Philippines, sugarcane and maize in Indonesia, and taro [Colocasia esculenta] in Hawaii. It is reported to be one of the prevalent weeds in sorghum in Malaysia.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reposted for F. littoralis is n = 10 (Nijalingappa, 1975).

Reproductive Biology

F. littoralis is a prolific seed producer, and thus soon becomes widespread when it enters a new area of rice production. In the Philippines, it flowers all year round and, in one experiment, produced 10,000 seeds per plant (Holm et al., 1991). In many places the seeds seem to have no dormancy period and thus when ripe will germinate very quickly if moisture is present. In the Philippines, the experimental germination of weed seeds over a 3-year period from a quantity of soil obtained from a ricefield revealed that F. littoralis emerged in all periods and constituted 70% of all the seedlings which appeared (Vega and Sierra, 1970: quoted in Holm et al., 1991). In Trinidad, the seeds have been found to have a dormant period; the dormancy could be broken only by desiccation in laboratory experiments. Germination has also been studied by Horng and Leu (1978). Ampong-Nyarko and de Datta (1991) indicate that the seeds require light for germination.

In Malaysia, F. littoralis is reported to be the first sedge to emerge after the rice has been transplanted and the first sedge to recover after ploughing. Because F. littoralis seeds in the soil germinate throughout the growing season, plants may escape even the best weed control programmes. The greatest numbers of F. littoralis seedlings emerged in early planting of rice: emergence declined for normal and later plantings. In all plantings, this species had the unique ability to maintain seedling emergence in the field throughout the entire culture period; there were few peaks of emergence during a given culture period. A single control treatment will affect only the seedlings that are present; the many plants which appear later can escape control treatments, thus enabling complete growth and seed production (Holm et al., 1991). 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 12 33

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall2502000mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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F. littoralis spreads by seeds. Seeds are dispersed by water, wind, and human-related activities, or they can be eaten by cattle and germinate near droppings (Holm et al., 1977).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionAgricultural weed Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
DisturbanceCommon weed in roads, open slopes, muddy places near water, grasslands, and paddy fields Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeeds dispersed by human-related activities Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
Land vehiclesSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
LivestockSeeds eaten by livestock Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
Machinery and equipment Yes Holm et al., 1977
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
WaterSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977
WindSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1977

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Negative
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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F. littoralis is a principal weed of rice in the Philippines, Thailand and Trinidad and is also reported to be one of the three most serious weeds in rice in Guyana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Taiwan. It is also found in rice in Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea and the USA. Apart from rice it is also found in bananas and maize in Taiwan, abaca [Musa textilis] in the Philippines, sugarcane and maize in Indonesia, and taro [Colocasia esculenta] in Hawaii. It is reported to be one of the prevalent weeds in sorghum in Malaysia. 

Surveys conducted between 1989 and 1990 in the major granary areas in Peninsular Malaysia ranked F. littoralis among the top ten ubiquitous dominant weeds in direct-seeded rice-growing areas (Azmi et al., 1992). 

In India, rice yield losses due to F. littoralis (together with Cyperus difformis and Scirpus supinus) were estimated at 9% in transplanted rice in the dry season (Moorthy and Manna, 1982) and 24-32% in direct-sown rice in puddled conditions (Moorthy and Manna, 1984). Its roots are fibrous and grow more rapidly than rice roots, competing heavily between the rice roots and eventually surrounding them. It is thus very competitive in rice. Sobhana et al. (1990) found that this weed is allelopathic to rice germination. 

F. littoralis has been recorded as a host for several organisms, including the fungus Corticium sasakii [Thanatephorus cucumeris] (Roy, 1973), and the nematodes Rotylenchulus reniformis (e.g. in Trinidad) (Singh, 1974), Meloidogyne graminicola (Rao et al., 1970) and M. oryzae (e.g. in Suriname) (Segeren and Sanchit, 1984).

Environmental Impact

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F. littoralis is a common and often abundant weed in rice plantations throughout tropical and subtropical regions. It competes with crops for light and nutrients and interferes with management. It has the capacity to escape from cultivation and establish into disturbed wet and muddy areas where it can outcompete native vegetation (Holm et al., 1977).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Hybridization
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Fimbristylis species have been regarded as useful in turf. These plants are also ploughed in as green manures in rice fallows. Cattle readily eat their foliage. Two species are used medicinally in Malaysia. The roots are given for dysentery by santals [local doctors] in India. These sedges are also used for making matting and baskets (Burkill, 1966).
 

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

Materials

  • Fibre

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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F. miliacea is distinguished from F. littoralis by its slightly elongated, ovate spikelets, ovate, acute glumes, and relatively un-flattened stem base, whereas F. littoralis has shorter, almost globose spikelets, obtuse glumes and a very markedly flattened stem base. Haines and Lye (1983) also note that the leaves of F. littoralis have a less prominent midrib. Intraspecific variation has been noted among F. miliacea in India (Bir et al., 1992).

A number of other species can occur as weeds, but the commonest of these is F. dichotoma (listed by Waterhouse (1993a) among the 21 most serious weeds in South-East Asia). This differs in generally behaving as a perennial with a short woody rhizome system, in having much leaves in three ranks (versus two in F. littoralis), larger, ovate spikelets up to 10 mm long, and the florets with only two styles/stigmas and a flattened biconvex nutlet (versus three-branched style and triangular nutlet in F. littoralis).

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.

Introduction

Various methods are used to control F. littoralis, depending on the crop system. Handweeding may be useful when F. littoralis is growing in between rows of cultivated crops such as maize, sorghum or vegetables. Integrated methods are important: for example, F. littoralis found in wet and dry direct-seeded rice can be controlled by combining good land preparation and water management, possibly with herbicides (see, for example, Ghosh and Ganguly, 1993).

Land Preparation

A stale seedbed technique is used to reduce weeds in dry-seeded rice. During land preparation when the soil is dry, weed seeds will not germinate until the soil becomes moist. After land preparation, water from rainfall or irrigation canals will stimulate the emergence of weed seedlings from seeds in the soil. These seedlings can then be destroyed by either chemical or manual methods. Chemical methods have the advantage of not bringing more weed seeds to the soil surface where conditions are more favourable for germination. Herbicides should be applied to the weed seedlings particularly at the two-leaf to five-leaf stages. If mechanical or manual methods are to be used, soil disturbance should be restricted to only the top layer of soil (Mukhopadhyay, 1983; Sarkar and Moody, 1983; Farjado and Moody, 1990).

Wet-seeded rice culture under puddled fields provides comparatively better weed control than dry-seeded culture. Puddling is considered to be an essential technique for weed control. Most of the buried young weed seedlings and stems of the perennial weeds do not establish after two or three sessions of rotavation and good puddling.

Water Management

In broadcast-seeded, flooded rice, water is needed for land levelling, fertilizer incorporation and for suppressing weed growth.

Chemical Control

In Malaysia, herbicides such as 2,4-D could be used to control F. littoralis growing in direct-seeded rice where land preparation had been poor. However, tolerance of F. littoralis to 2,4-D has been reported (Itoh, 1994; Watanabe et al., 1997). Other herbicides that have been used include: bensulfuron, butachlor, cinosulfuron, metsulfuron, pretilachlor, propanil, pyrazosulfuron and thiobencarb (see, for example, de Datta and Llagas, 1984; Moorthy and Manna, 1984; Raju and Reddy, 1986; Pradhan and Chetti, 1987; Rao, 1995). However, Ampong-Nyarko and de Datta (1991) indicate resistance to fenoxaprop and piperophos, moderate resistance to quinclorac, and only moderate susceptibility to molinate. Herbicides used for controlling rice weeds, including F. littoralis, have a narrow window of application and the instructions on the labels should be followed strictly.

Biological Control

Waterhouse (1993b) has reviewed the prospects for biological control for paddy weeds in South-East Asia, including F. littoralis. Waterhouse (1994) lists records of natural enemies of the weed, but all are polyphagous species, many of them pests of rice. No species likely to be host specific is reported and Waterhouse recommends a survey in tropical America to assess the possibilities.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Alves M; Hefler SM; Trevisan R; Silva Filho PJS, 2014. Cyperaceae in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil (Cyperaceae in the list of species of the flora of Brazil). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.

Ampong-Nyarko K; Datta SK de, 1991. Handbook for weed control in rice. Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute.

Azmi M; Baki BB; Mashor M, 1992. Weed communities in rice granary areas in Peninsular Malaysia. Proceedings of the 1st International Weed Control Congress. Melbourne, Australia: Weed Science Society of Victoria, Vol. 2:57-60.

Bir SS; Chatha GS; Sidhu M, 1992. Intraspecific variation in Cyperaceae from Punjab Plain, India. Willdenowia, 22(1-2):133-142

Burkill IH, 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsular, Vols I & II. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Datta SK de; Llagas MA, 1984. Weed problems and weed control in upland rice in tropical Asia. An overview of upland rice research Los Banos, Philippines; IRRI, 321-341

Fajardo FF; Moody K, 1990. Weed control and related cultural practices for wet-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Guimba, Nueva Ecija. Philippine Journal of Weed Science, 17:51-64

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Florence J; Chevillotte H; Ollier C; Meyer J-Y, 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP) (Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia). http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Fosberg FR; Sachet M-H; Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesia 20: 1-2, 19-129.

Ghosh DC; Ganguly S, 1993. Cultural factors affecting weed infestation and crop productivity in wetland transplanted 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:30-33

Govaerts R, 2014. World Checklist of Cyperaceae. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Haines RW; Lye KA, 1983. The Sedges and Rushes of East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Natural History Society.

Holm LG; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp.

Holm LG; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1991. A Geographic Atlas of World Weeds. Malabar, Florida, USA: Krieger Publishing Company.

Holm LG; Plucknett DL; Pancho JV; Herberger JP, 1977. The World's Worst Weeds. Distribution and Biology. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University Press of Hawaii.

Holou RAY; Achigan-Daki EG; Sinsin B, 2013. Ecology and management of invasive plants in Africa. In: Invasive Plant Ecology [ed. by Jose, S. \Singh, H. P. \Batish, D. R. \Kohli, R. K.]. CRC Press, 161-174.

Horng LC; Leu LS, 1978. The effects of depth and duration of burial on the germination of ten annual weed seeds. Weed Science, 26(1):4-10

Itoh K, 1994. Weed ecology and its control in south-east tropical countries. Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 38(4):369-373

Moody KC; Munroe E; Libigan RT; Paller EC Jr, 1984. Major Weeds of the Philippines. Laguna, Phillippines: Weed Science Society of the Philippines & University of the Philippines at Los Banos College.

Moorthy BTS; Manna GB, 1984. Herbicides for weed control in puddle seeded rice. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 16(3):148-155

Moorthy BTS; Manna GB, unda. Weed control in transplanted rice by herbicides in dry season. Abstracts of papers, annual conference of Indian Society of Weed Science, 1982., 13

Mukhopadhyay SK, 1983. Weed control technology in rainfed wetland rice. Weed control in rice. IRRI Los Banos Philippines, 109-118

Napper DM, 1972. Fimbristylis. In: Hepper FN, ed. Flora of West Tropical Africa, Volume III, Part 2, Second Edition. London, UK: Crown Agents, 318-325.

Nijalingappa BHM, 1975. Cytological studies in Fimbristylis (Cyperaceae). Cytologia, 40:177-183.

Noltie HJ, 1994. Flora of Bhutan, Volume 3, Part 1. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden.

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Pradhan PM; Chettri GB, 1987. Evaluation of weed control methods in Bhutan. International Rice Research Newsletter, 12(5):29-30

Raju RA; Reddy MN, 1986. Protecting the world's rice crops. Agricultural Information Development Bulletin, 8(2):17-18

Randall RP, 2012. A Global Compendium of Weeds. Perth, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, 1124 pp. http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2013/20133109119.pdf

Rao AS, 1995. Effect of sequential application of herbicides on weed control in transplanted rice (Oryza sativa L.). Crop Research (Hisar), 9(2):203-210

Rao YS; Israel P; Biswas H, 1970. Weed and rotation crop plants as hosts for the rice root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne graminicola (Golden and Birchfield). Oryza, 7(2):137-142

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

Sarkar PA; Moody K, 1983. Effects of stand establishment on weed population in rice. Weed control in rice. IRRI Los Banos Philippines, 57-71

Segeren HA; Sanchit ML, 1984. Observations on Meloidogyne oryzae Maas, Sanders and Dede 1978 in irrigated rice in Suriname. Surinaamse Landbouw, 32(2):51-59

Singh ND, 1974. Some host plants of the reniform nematode in Trinidad. In: Brathwaite CWD, Phelps RH, Bennett FD, ed. Proceedings of a Symposium on the protection of horticultural crops in the Caribbean held at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, 8-11 April, 1974. St. Augustine, Trinidad., 119-125

Smith AC, 1979. Flora vitiensis nova. A new flora of Fiji. Hawaii, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden, 1:495.

Sobhana S; George S; Sheela KR, 1990. Preliminary studies on allelopathic effect on weeds in rice of seed germination. Oryza, 27(1):94-95

Soerjani M; Kostermans AJGH; Tjitrosoepomo G, 1987. Weeds of Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: Balai Pustaka, 716 pp.

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Watanabe H; Ismail MZ; Ho NaiKin, 1997. Response of 2,4-D resistant biotype of Fimbristylis miliacea (L.) Vahl. to 2,4-D dimethylamine and its distribution in the Muda Plain, Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Weed Science and Technology, 42(3):240-249; 17 ref.

Waterhouse DF(Editor), 1994. Biological control of weeds: Southeast Asian prospects. Canberra, Australia; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), v + 302 pp.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. Prospects for biological control of paddy weeds in southeast Asia and some recent successes in the biological control of aquatic weeds. Extension Bulletin - ASPAC, Food & Fertilizer Technology Center, No. 366:10 pp.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Zimdahl RL; Lubigan RT; Moody K; Mabbayad MO, 1989. Seeds and seedlings of weeds in rice in south and southeast Asia. Manila, Philippines; International Rice Research Institute, 63 pp.

Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

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

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China., St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer J-Y, 2013. Nadeaud botanical database of the Herbarium of French Polynesia. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP))., https://nadeaud.ilm.pf/

Fosberg FR, Sachet M-H, Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. In: Micronesia, 20 (1-2) 19-129.

Govaerts R, 2014. World Checklist of Cyperaceae., London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Haines RW, Lye KA, 1983. The Sedges and Rushes of East Africa., Nairobi, Kenya: East African Natural History Society.

Holm L G, Pancho J V, Herberger J P, Plucknett D L, 1991. A geographic atlas of world weeds. Malabar, Florida, USA: Krieger Publishing Co. 391 pp.

Holou RAY, Achigan-Daki EG, Sinsin B, 2013. Ecology and management of invasive plants in Africa. In: Invasive Plant Ecology, [ed. by Jose S, Singh HP, Batish DR, Kohli RK]. CRC Press. 161-174.

Napper DM, 1972. Fimbristylis. In: Flora of West Tropical Africa, Volume III, Part 2, Second Edition, [ed. by Hepper FN]. London, UK: Crown Agents. 318-325.

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Pradhan P M, Chettri G B, 1987. Evaluation of weed control methods in Bhutan. International Rice Research Newsletter. 12 (5), 29-30.

Smith AC, 1979. Flora vitiensis nova. A new flora of Fiji., 1 Hawaii, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 495.

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

Waterhouse D F, 1993. Prospects for biological control of paddy weeds in southeast Asia and some recent successes in the biological control of aquatic weeds. In: Extension Bulletin - ASPAC, Food & Fertilizer Technology Center, 10 pp.

Contributors

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22/04/14 Updated by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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