Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze


Striga asiatica is a parasitic plant that can infest agricultural crops and has been found in North and South Carolina. Plants are normally 6-12 in. (15.2-30.5 cm) tall but have grown to 24 in. (61 cm).
Leaves of Striga asiatica are linear and around 1 in. (2.5 cm) long.
Striga asiatica flowers are small, less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) in diameter, occur in or on loose spikes, and can vary greatly in color from white to yellow, red, or purple.
The flowers give way to swollen seed pods that contain thousands of microscopic seeds per pod.
Ecological Threat
Striga asiatica can parasitize important agricultural crops such as corn, sorghum, sugar cane and rice. The host plant's nutrients are depleted and energy is spent supporting the parasitic witchweed. Infestations reduce yields and contaminate crops. Witchweed is native to Asia and Africa and was first identified in the United States, in the Carolinas, in 1955. It is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Striga
Subject: Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Asiatic witchweed

Related Scientific Names:
Striga lutea (L.) Kuntze (Synonym)


Plants - Forbs/Herbs