Common name: Crowfoot Grass, beach wiregrass, coast button grass, comb fringe grass, Duck grass, Durban crowfoot, Egyptian finger grass, Egyptian grass, finger comb grass, four-finger grass • Hindi: मकड़ा Makra • Manipuri: পুঙফাঈ Pungphai
Botanical name: Dactyloctenium aegyptium Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Eleusine aegyptiaca.
Crowfoot Grass is a slender to moderately robust, spreading annual herb, with wiry stems, that bend and root at the lower nodes, with tips that may rise to about 2 ft in height. It is a very common weed of open spaces and wasteland. Leaves are typically grass-like,2-30 cm long, 2-9 mm wide, with blades and sheaths that are without hair. Leaf margins have long, stiff hairs. Flowers arise in 1-7 spikes, 1-6.2 cm long, 3-7 mm wide, at the tip of stems. Seed head resembles a crow’s foot, hence the common name. Crowfoot Grass nativity is not clear but seen everywhere in forest areas of India, but naturalised world-wide.
Medicinal uses: Unverified information indicates that in Manipur, juice of fresh plants is prescribed in fevers. Decoction of the plant is given in small pox.
Identification credit: Prashant Awale