Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze

Etymology Genus Swathe or thin; referring to the rigid and erect form of the stem
Species Of Asian origin
Family Orobanchaceae
Synonyms Buchnera asiatica L.
Common Names Witchweed
Status Uncertain
Form Herb
Native Distribution Asia and Africa

Diagnostics:

Striga asiatica can be found in lawns and open scrublands. It has a simple form, with an erect stem and narrow leaves about 1cm long. The entire plant is covered with coarse hairs, giving a rough surface. The flowers can be variable and differs regionally; with the colours of red, yellow, white, pink, purple, and orange (Cochrane & Press, 1997). I have only seen the yellow, and faint pink varieties in Singapore.


Interesting Facts:

The Witchweed is a root parasite of grasses, and is known to cause significant agricultural crops loss by reducing their vigour.


Yellow flower variety, with the stem having a yellowish tinge.

White flower variety.

Two colour varieties, yellow and white (with faint pink but not obvious here).

Side profile of the flower

Fruits. Note the hairs.


References

Cochrane V & MC Press. (1997) Geographical Distribution and Aspects of the Ecology of the Hemiparasitic Angiosperm Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze: A Herbarium Study. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 13: 371-380.


Posted Date: 2014-12-28 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11