Striga densiflora (witchweed)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Plant Trade
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Striga densiflora (Benth.) Benth. (1863)
Preferred Common Name
Other Scientific Names
- Buchnera densiflora Benth. (1835)
- STRDE (Striga densiflora)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Scrophulariales
- Family: Orobanchaceae
- Genus: Striga
- Species: Striga densiflora
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
DistributionTop of page
Records for Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe in EPPO (2003) require further confirmation.
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.Last updated: 30 Jun 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Nigeria||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
|South Africa||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
|Zimbabwe||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
References from before 1957, cited here and in other sections, are usefully available in the compilation by McGrath et al. (1957).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Digitaria sanguinalis (large crabgrass)||Poaceae||Wild host|
|Eleusine coracana (finger millet)||Poaceae||Main|
|Oryza sativa (rice)||Poaceae||Other|
|Paspalum scrobiculatum (ricegrass paspalum)||Poaceae||Wild host|
|Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet)||Poaceae||Other|
|Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)||Poaceae||Main|
|Setaria italica (foxtail millet)||Poaceae||Other|
|Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)||Poaceae||Main|
|Zea mays (maize)||Poaceae||Main|
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Whole plant / early senescence|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Like S. asiatica and S. hermonthica, S. densiflora is a plant of semi-arid conditions, associated with low soil fertility and relatively dry conditions, rarely flourishing in wet soils or irrigated crops in the way S. aspera and S. angustifolia may do.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Eulocastra undulata||Herbivore||Fruits|pods; Plants|Leaves|
|Podosphaera xanthii||Pathogen||Plants|Leaves; Plants|Stems|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
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|
|Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes||seeds||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||seeds||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||seeds||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||seeds||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
ImpactTop of page
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
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.S. densiflora is not known to differ from S. asiatica in its response to cultural control methods, and it can be presumed that rotation with non-host crops and improvement in soil fertility are likely to be helpful. Solomon (1952) notes less vigorous development under higher nutrient conditions. There is negligible evidence for the effectiveness of trap crops.
Although Upadhyay et al. (1977) reported unsatisfactory results with 2,4-D both pre- and post-emergence, other reports suggest it can be helpful at either stage (Kumar et al., 1949; Uppal, 1952).
Varieties of sorghum resistant to S. asiatica have generally been found to be resistant to S. densiflora as well. Although the African variety Boganhilo, resistant to S. asiatica was reported susceptible to S. densiflora in Anon. (1943), a later report (Jenkins, 1945) confirmed its resistance to S. densiflora and other reports suggest a generally comparable reaction of sorghum species and varieties to the two Striga species (Anon., 1942; Deodikar, 1951; Parker and Riches, 1993). The one exception in Deodikar's work was Sorghum conspicuum [S. bicolor] which proved susceptible to S. asiatica but resistant to S. densiflora.
There is a lack of information on the resistance of 'SAR' (Striga-asiatica-resistant) lines of sorghum to S. densiflora.
ReferencesTop of page
Anon., 1942. Millets and pulses. Imperial College of Agricultural Research (India) Annual Report 1940, 41:11-12.
Anon., 1943. Millets and pulses. Imperial College of Agricultural Research (India) Annual Report 1941, 42:11.
Chowdhury AM; Ahmad A, 1993. Histopathological studies of Striga spp. with sugarcane roots. Journal of Mycopathological Research, 31(1):1-4.
Cooke T, 1905. Striga. Bombay Flora, 2(2):302-304.
Dugje IY; Kamara AY; Omoigui LO, 2006. Infestation of crop fields by Striga species in the savanna zones of northeast Nigeria. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 116(3/4):251-254. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01678809
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Greathead DJ, 1984. The natural enemies of Striga spp. and the prospects for their utilisation as biological control agents. In: Ayensu ES, Doggett H, Keynes RD, Marton-Lefevre J, Musselman LJ, Parker C, Pickering A, ed. Striga. Biology and control Paris, ICSU Press France, 133-160
Jenkins WJ, 1945. Research work. Crop Protection. Bombay Department of Agriculture Annual Report 1943, 44:14-17.
Kumar LSS, 1939. Crop protection from parasitic plants - phanerogamic parasities. India Bd. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Crop and Soils Wing Proceedings, 2(1937):341-342.
Kumar LSS; Solomon S, 1941. A list of hosts of some phanerogamic root-parasites attacking economic crops in India. Indian Academy of Science Proceedings, Section B, 13:151-156.
Kumar LSS; Solomon S; Rao MVV, 1949. Preliminary studies in the use of synthetic hormones as weedkillers in the Bombay Province. Indian Academy of Sciences Proceedings Section B, 30:243-248.
Luthra JC, 1939. Parasitic plants occurring in the Punjab. India Board Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Crop and Soils Wing Proceedings, 2:343.
MBG, 2000. Missouri Botanical Garden: Flora of China Checklist. World Wide Web page at http://mobot.mobot.org/.
McGrath H; Shaw WC; Jansen LL; Lipscomb BR; Miller PR; Ennis WB, 1957. Witchweed (Striga asiatica) - a new parasitic plant in the United States. Plant Disease Epidemics and Identification Section, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture Special Publication, 10.
Musselman LJ; Bhrathalakshmi; Safa SB; Knepper DA; Mohamed KI; White CL, 1991. Recent research on the biology of Striga asiatica, S. gesnerioides and S. hermonthica. Combating striga in Africa: proceedings of the international workshop held in Ibadan, Nigeria, 22-24 August 1988 [edited by Kim, S. K.] Ibadan, Nigeria; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 31-41
Parker C, 1984. The influence of Striga species on sorghum under varying nitrogen fertilization. Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Parasitic Weeds. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas Aleppo Syria, 90-98
Reichmann S; Kroschel J; Sauerborn J, 1995. Distribution and infestation of Striga species in Shinyanga region of Tanzania and evaluation of control methods. Brighton crop protection conference: weeds. Proceedings of an international conference, Brighton, UK, 20-23 November 1995., Vol. 1:151-156; 15 ref.
Solomon S, 1952. Studies in the physiology of phanerogamic parasitism with special reference to Striga lutea Lour. and S. densiflora Benth. on Andropogon sorghum Hack. I. The osmotic pressure of the host and parasite in relation to the nutrition of the host. Indian Academy of Science Proceedings Section B, 35:122-131.
Srinavasan AR, 1947. Some new hosts for Striga. Current Science (India), 16:320-321.
Uppal BN, 1952. Research work. Crop protection. Bombay Department of Agriculture Annual Report 1947, 48:28-31.
Zuberi MI; Ahmad A; Biswas MAR; Ghosh GP; Choudhury ANMA; Roy PC, 1987. Striga densiflora Benth., an angiospermic root parasite of rice in Bangladesh. International Rice Research Newsletter, 12(6):32-33
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Dugje I Y, Kamara A Y, Omoigui L O, 2006. Infestation of crop fields by Striga species in the savanna zones of northeast Nigeria. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 116 (3/4), 251-254. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01678809 DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2006.02.013
MBG, 2000. Missouri Botanical Garden: Flora of China Checklist., http://mobot.mobot.org/
Zuberi M I, Ahmad A, Biswas M A R, Ghosh G P, Choudhury A N M A, Roy P C, 1987. Striga densiflora Benth., an angiospermic root parasite of rice in Bangladesh. International Rice Research Newsletter. 12 (6), 32-33.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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