Dactyloctenium aegyptium

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd.
  • Synonyms : Cynosurus aegyptius L., Eleusine aegyptia (L.) Desf.
  • Common Name : Crow Foot Grass, Tarakiyu
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1-30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan, Punit Van, Sarita Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Infocity, Basan, Aranya Van

About Dactyloctenium aegyptium Plant :

  • Habit : An annual of variable habit, 30-45 cm high.
  • Stem : Sometimes prostrate, rooting from the proliferously branched nodes, geniculately ascending, compressed, glabrous, smooth.
  • Leaves : Linear, 2.5-12.5 cm by 2-4 mm, tapering to a fine point, flat, glaucous, glabrous or hairy or hispidly ciliate with bulbous-based hairs; ligule a slightly ciliolate line.
  • Inflorescence : Spikes 2-6, digitately radiating, 1.3-3.8 cm long, rachis trigonous or dorsally flattened, rigid, often excurrent into a pungent mucro.
  • Flowers :
    • Spikelets many, 3-5 flowered, spreading at right angles to the rachis, up to 3.2 mm long.
    • Glumes divariacate; lower involucral glume ovate,  acute, 2 mm long; upper involucral glume 2 mm long (excluding the awn), suborbicular, the midnerve produced into a usually curved awn often as long as or sometimes longer than the glume; floral glumes gibbously ovate, up to 3.2 mm long, mucronate or awned; palea rather shorter than its glume, ovate-oblong, obtuse or 2-fid. Anthers about 1.2 mm long.
  • Seeds : Grains, subglobose, reddish, very rugose, 1 mm diameter.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : All the year round
  • Significance :
    • Considered to be very nutritious fodder grass for cattle, being both fattening and milk producing.
    • The grain is eaten by the poor classes, especially at times of scarcity.
    • A decoction of the grain is known as an alleviator of pains in the region of the kidney and herbaceous parts are applied externally for the cure of ulcers.