witchweed

Scrophulariales > Scrophulariaceae > Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze
Synonym(s): Asiatic witchweed

Witchweed 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 are linear and around 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. 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. Witchweed 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.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

Click on each thumbnail to download the image at 1536x1024 resolution or below for available resolutions.
Use 768x512 for Microsoft PowerPoint and use 1536x1024 for Prints and Publications.

Plant(s);
USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
768x512 / 1536x1024

Plant(s); underground attachment
USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
768x512 / 1536x1024

Control; spraying for witchweed control
USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
768x512 / 1536x1024

Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Federal Noxious Weed List
  • Arizona - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Noxious Weed Law
  • North Carolina - Noxious Weed Law


External Links


footer line
USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia