Desmostachya bipinnata

Desmostachya bipinnata, commonly known in English by the names halfa grass, big cordgrass, and salt reed-grass,[3] is an Old World perennial grass, long known and used in human history. The grass is tall, tufted, leafy, perennial grass, branching from the base, erect from a stout creeping rootstock.(10[4]) It is commonly known in Hindi by names Dab, Dhab or Kusha.

Desmostachya bipinnata
Description de l'Égypte (Pl. 10) (9301605394).jpg
Desmostachya bipinnata (right plant)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Desmostachya
D. bipinnata
Binomial name
Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Briza bipinnata L.
  • Cynosurus durus Forssk.
  • Dactylis interrupta Rottler ex Stapf
  • Desmostachya cynosuroides (Retz.) Stapf ex Massey
  • Desmostachya pingalaiae Raole & R.J.Desai
  • Dinebra dura Lag.
  • Eragrostis bipinnata (L.) K.Schum.
  • Eragrostis cynosuroides (Retz.) P.Beauv.
  • Eragrostis thunbergii Baill.
  • Leptochloa bipinnata (L.) Hochst.
  • Megastachya bipinnata (L.) P.Beauv.
  • Poa cynosuroides Retz.
  • Pogonarthria bipinnata (L.) Chiov.
  • Rabdochloa bipinnata (L.) Kuntze
  • Stapfiola bipinnata (L.) Kuntze
  • Uniola bipinnata (L.) L.


Desmostachya bipinnata is native to northeast and west tropical, and northern Africa (in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia); and countries in the Middle East, and temperate and tropical Asia (in Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand).[5]

The species is distributed throughout the India, the studies have made on western region of India, Ahmedabad region, Nehchani region, Jodhpur region & Agra region(1[6]0)

Taxonomy and NomenclatureEdit

Numerous synonyms have been used for Desmostachya bipinnata but there appears to be no confusion as to this as the preferred scientific name. However, on the basis of distinct morphological and reproductive characters, four new subspecies of D. bipinnata have been described by Pandeya and Pandeya (2002); subsp. longispiculata Amita Pandeya, subsp. jodhpurensis Amita Pandeya, subsp. sheelai Amita Pandeya, and subsp. agraensis Amita Pandeya. However, it is uncertain whether these subspecies represent actual genetic differences, as Pandeya and Pandeya (2002) also note the existence of biotypes of D. bipinnata occurring in response to soil and climatic conditions in western India.

4 Subspecies (Types) of Desmostachya bipinnata (Linn.) StapfEdit

DBAHM- Desmostachya bipinnata subsp.longispiculata Amita Pandeya

DBJB- Desmostachya bipinnata subsp. jodhpurensis Amita Pandeya

DBNB- Desmostachya bipinnata subsp.sheelai Amita Pandeya

DBAG- Desmostachya bipinnata subsp.agraensis Amita Pandeya



In folk medicine, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used variously to treat dysentery and menorrhagia, and as a diuretic.[7]


Desmostachya bipinnata has long been used in various traditions (Hindus, Jains and Buddhists) as a very sacred plant. According to early Buddhist accounts, it was the material used by Buddha for his meditation seat when he attained enlightenment.[8] The plant was mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and the gods.[9] Kusha grass is specifically recommended by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as part of the ideal seat for meditation.[10]


In arid regions, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used as fodder for livestock.[5]

Weed informationEdit

In agriculture, Desmostachya bipinnata is a weed commonly found in wheat crops.[11]


  1. ^ Lansdown, R.V. (2013). "Desmostachya bipinnata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T13579796A13596921. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Desmostachya bipinnata". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  3. ^ Martha Modzelevich. "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flowers in Israel. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ Pandeya A; Pandeya SC, 2002. Environment and population differentiation in Desmostachya bipinnata (Linn.) Stapf in western India. Tropical Ecology, 43:359-362.
  5. ^ a b "Desmostachya bipinnata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  6. ^ Pandeya A; Pandeya SC, 2002. Environment and population differentiation in Desmostachya bipinnata (Linn.) Stapf in western India. Tropical Ecology, 43:359-362.
  7. ^ James A. Duke. "Desmostachya bipinnata (POACEAE)". Green Farmacy Garden, Fulton, Maryland: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved June 15, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Professor Paul Williams (2006). Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies (Critical Concepts in Religious Studies S.). New York: Routledge. p. 262. ISBN 0-415-33226-5.
  9. ^ Griffith, Ralph T. H. (1896). The Hymns of the Rigveda, Volume 1. p. 4. ISBN 9781428630772.
  10. ^ "Establishing a firm seat for himself, In a clean place, Not too high, Not too low, covered with cloth, and antelope skin, and kusha grass" (B.G. VI:11) Smith, Huston; Chapple, Christopher; Sargeant, Winthrop (2009). The Bhagavad Gita (Excelsior Editions). Excelsior Editions/State University of New York. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-4384-2842-0.
  11. ^ Ahmad, R.; Shaikh, A.S. (January–June 2003). "Common Weeds of Wheat and Their Control" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of Water Resources. 7 (1): 73–76. Retrieved June 15, 2011.[permanent dead link]

  10. Pandeya A; Pandeya SC, 2002. Environment and population differentiation in Desmostachya bipinnata (Linn.) Stapf in western India.

Tropical Ecology, 43:359-362.

Further readingEdit