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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Pearl Millet Diseases - Plant Parasites
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Witchweed Striga hermonthica Benth.
            Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze

Witchweed

Striga hermonthica Benth.

Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze

Symptoms:

Severe attack produces leaf wilting and chlorosis. Infected plants may be stunted and die prior to seed set.

Pathogen and disease characteristics:

Striga seeds are stimulated to germinate by root exudates
of the host. Plants emerge close to host plant 1 to 2 months after crop is planted, flowers 3 to 4 weeks after emergence and matures seed a month later. The species are similar in appearance, with square stems and small, bright green elongated leaves with red to pink flowers. Seed are minute, less than 0.25 mm long and borne in pods or capsules.

Host range:

Pearl millet, maize, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, Sudangrass, wheat, oats, barley.

Witchweed

Geographic distribution:

Africa, Australia, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, North and South Carolina (USA).

Nomenclature discrepancies:

None.

Seed transmission:

Not seed transmitted.

Primary citation(s):

(Williams et al. 1978, Shurtleff 1980).


Last Modified: 7/21/2010
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