Echinochloa crus-galli

Echinochloa crus-galli has loose green to purplish inflorescence (IRRI).

Latin name

Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv 



Common name

Common barnyardgrass 


Panicum crus-galli L. (basionym), Panicum hispidulum Retz., Milium crus-galli (L.) Moench, Pennisetum crus-galli (L.) Baung 

Geographical distribution

 Asia: China, Japan, and Korea.

South and Southeast Asia: India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Rest of the world: widespread in Africa, Europe, and America.


Annual, erect, tufted or reclining at base; up to 200 cm tall.

Stem: culms rooting at lower nodes, cylindrical, without hairs, and filled with white spongy pith.

Leaf: linear with a broad round base and narrow top; blade 10−40 cm long; ligule absent.

Inflorescence: loose green to purplish, 10−25 cm long comprising compound racemes; spikelets more or less elliptical and pointed, usually slightly hairy; awns, if present, green to purplish, 2−5 mm long.

Biology and ecology

The common barnyard gas ropagates by seed. It flowers throughout the year and can produce seeds within 60 days.

Echinochloa crus-galli prefers moist to wet land; easily grows in direct-seeded rice fields and wastelands. It is a common weed in swamps and aquatic places. 

Agricultural importance

It is a serious serious weed of lowland rice due to its rapid growth, competitive ability, and capacity to multiply rapidly. The young shoots are eaten in Java and it is used for reclaiming saline lands in Egypt. The weed serves as feed for animals in grasslands and wastelands. 


Cultural control: Thorough land preparation for rice under wet or dry conditions can reduce infestations.It is difficult to distinguish the weed seedlings from rice at early stages, which makes hand weeding difficult.

Biological control: the fungal pathogen Exserohilum monoceras shown to control this weed.

Chemical control: Oxadiazon, pretilachlor, pendimethalin or cyhalofop, thiobencarb, butachlor, and propanil mixtures with quinclorac or fenoxaprop. 

Selected references

  • Galinato I, Moody K, Piggin. CM. 1999. Upland rice weeds of South and Southeast Asia. Manila (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute. 156 p.
  • Holm LG, Plucknett DL, Pancho JV, Herberger JP. 1977. The world's worst weeds: distribution and biology. Honolulu, Hawaii (USA): University of Hawaii Press. 609 p.
  • Michael PW. 1978. Notes on Echinochloa in the Philippines. Philipp. J. Weed Sci. 5:16-18.
  • Moody K. 1989. Weeds reported in rice in South and Southeast Asia. Manila (Philippines): International Rice Reseach Institute. 442 p.
  • Moody K, Munroe CE, Lubigan RT, Paller Jr. EC. 1984. Major weeds of the Philippines. Weed Science Society of the Philippines. College, Laguna (Philippines): University of the Philippines at Los Baños. 328 p.
  • Pancho JV, Obien Sr. 1995. Manual of ricefield weeds in the Philippines. Muñoz, Nueva Ecija (Philippines): Philippine Rice Research Institute. 543 p.
JLA Catindig, RT Lubigan, and D Johnson