Echinochloa is a very widespread genus of plants in the grass family and tribe Paniceae.[3][4][5] Some of the species are known by the common names barnyard grass or cockspur grass.[6][7]

Barnyard grass
Cockspur grass
Echinochloa crus-galli 2006.08.27 14.59.37-p8270051.jpg
Common barnyard grass
(Echinochloa crus-galli)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Supertribe: Panicodae
Tribe: Paniceae
Subtribe: Boivinellinae
Genus: Echinochloa
Type species
Echinochloa crus-galli
  • Oplismenus sect. Echninochloa (P.Beauv.) Dumort.
  • Panicum sect. Echinochloa (P.Beauv.) Döll
  • Panicum sect. Echinochloa (P.Beauv.) Nees
  • Panicum sect. Echinochloa (P.Beauv.) Trin.
  • Panicum ser. Echinochloa (P.Beauv.) Benth.
  • Panicum subg. Echinochloa (P.Beauv.) A. Gray
  • Tema Adans.
  • Ornithospermum Durande, not validly published

Some of the species within this genus are millets that are grown as cereal or fodder crops. The most notable of these are Japanese millet (E. esculenta) in East Asia, Indian barnyard millet (E. frumentacea) in South Asia, and burgu millet (E. stagnina) in West Africa. Collectively, the members of this genus are called barnyard grasses (though this may also refer to E. crus-galli specifically), and are also known as barnyard millets or billion-dollar grasses.

When not grown on purpose, these grasses may become a nuisance to farmers. In particular, common barnyard grass (E. crus-galli) is notorious as a weed.[8] It is not easily suppressed with living mulches such as velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis).[9] Early barnyard grass (E. oryzoides) is a well-known example of Vavilovian mimicry: the plants have evolved to resemble rice (Oryza), enabling them to escape weeding more easily.[10]

Among the plant pathogens that affect this genus are the sac fungus Cochliobolus sativus, which has been noted on common barnyard grass, and rice hoja blanca virus. Both affect many other grass species, in particular most important cereals, and Echinochloa weeds may serve as a reservoir. The fungi Drechslera monoceras and Exserohilum monoceras have been evaluated with some success as potential biocontrol agents of common barnyard grass in rice fields. More research is necessary, however, because they may not be host-specific enough to be of practical use.[11]


jungle rice (Echinochloa colona)
Formerly included[2]

see Acroceras Axonopus Brachiaria Oplismenopsis Oplismenus Panicum Paspalidium Pseudechinolaena Setaria Urochloa


  1. ^ Tropicos, Echinochloa P. Beauv.
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Palisot de Beauvois, Ambroise Marie François Joseph. 1812. Essai d'une Nouvelle Agrostographie 53 in Latin
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 515 稗属 bai shu Echinochloa P. Beauvois, Ess. Agrostogr. 53. 1812.
  5. ^ Flora of Pakistan
  6. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Echinochloa Archived 2015-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ US Department of Agriculture plants profile, Echinochloa P. Beauv., cockspur grass
  8. ^ Pheng, S.; Khiev, B.; Pol, C. & Jahn, G.C. (2001): Response of two rice cultivars to the competition of Echinochloa crus-galli. International Rice Research Institute Notes 26(2): 36-37. PDF fulltext Archived 2010-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Caamal-Maldonado, J.A.; Jimenez, J.J.; Torres, A. & Anaya, A. (2001): The use of allelopathic legume cover and mulch species for weed control in cropping systems. Agronomy Journal 93(1): 27-36. PDF fulltext[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Barrett, S. (1983): Mimicry in Plants. Scientific American 257(3): 76-83.
  11. ^ Huang, S.W.; Watson, A.K.; Duan, G.F. & Yu, L.Q. (2001): Preliminary evaluation of potential pathogenic fungi as bioherbicides of barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) in China. International Rice Research Institute Notes 26(2): 36-37. PDF fulltext Archived 2010-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ The Plant List search for Echinochloa
  13. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
  14. ^ Gould, F. W., M. A. Ali & D. E. Fairbrothers. 1972. A revision of Echinochloa in the United States. American Midland Naturalist 87(1): 36–59

External linksEdit

  • " Multilingual taxonomic information". University of Melbourne.