Striga hermonthica


In a Nutshell

    Bright green stems and leavesSmall brightly colored flowersSymptoms of the host plants are stunting, wilting and chlorosis

Hosts: %1$s

· Millet · Sorghum · Maize · Sugarcane


Striga, also known as Witchweed, is characterized by bright green stems and leaves as well as small, brightly colored flowers. If the weed parasitizes a crop it results in a significant loss of yield. The symptoms of the host plants are stunting, wilting and chlorosis.


Some species of striga are serious pathogens to crop cereals. Each plant can produce between 90,000 and 500,000 seeds, and the seeds can remain in the soil for over 10 years. Not all produced seeds are viable. The weed parasitizes the roots of the plants and absorbs the nutrients and water of the infested crop.

Biological Control

Striga can be very difficult to control due to the high amount of light seeds which are produced. Affected plants should be uprooted before they flower. Burn any plant residue.

Chemical Control

Herbicides are available, but are very expensive. The sprayer needs protection and the herbicides can kill useful plants.

Preventive Measures

    Use plant fortifier for a general strengthening of the plantsApply manure generouslyPlant Desmodium among your crops, which prevents Striga from attaching to the roots of the cropPlant napier grass around the field - it pulls striga away of the main cropsClean all tools carefully after working with infected plantsShoes should also be cleaned


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