Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze

Last updated: 28 Aug 2015

Scientific Name

Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze


Striga asiatica var. asiatica, Striga asiatica var. humilis (Benth.) D.Y. Hong, Striga hirsuta var. humilis Benth., Striga lutea Lour., Striga lutea var. bicolor Kuntze [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput siku-siku (Peninsular) [2][3]; jarum emas, rumput jarum emas, rumput kemut-kemut [4]
English Asiatic witchweed, buri, common mealie-witch-weed, isona weed, matabele flower, mealie poison, mealie wichweed, red witchweed, scarlet lobelia, striga, tobacco jasmine, witchweed [3]
China Du jiao gan, du jiao jin [3]
India Agnivriksha, bili kasa, cirakacitam, cirakacitapuntu, cullu, cutaparpini, jolada baeru maari, kalu-polapen,kancikam, kancikapputu, kevalikapputu, kevarikam, kirumimulam, kollaippalli, kollankutakam, kollankutakappuntu, kshetrabhusha, kshetranashini, kurandika, kuranti, kutiyottippunttu, laghukurandika, ninritamtincan, palli-ppuntu, pallipoondu, pallippundu, pallippuntu, pallipputu, payirerippaval, payirerittapavi, rathi badamika, viisantiyancan [3]
Indonesia Baruwang, jukut cancang (Sundanese); rajatawa (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Ya mae mot (Central) [2]
Vietnam Vo[of]ng ph[as] v[af]ng [2]
Africa Akarebwa omwe, ekeyongo, emoto (East); gewone mieliebrooiblom, kopseerblommetjie, mieligif, rooiblom, rooiblombosssie, vuurbossie, bisi (Shona); isona (Zulu); seona (South Sotho); yoruba, irokodu, oloyin [3]
Papua New Guinea Hometa kasu kavu (Kami, Eastern Highlands) [2].

Geographical Distributions

Striga asiatica has an extremely large area of distribution from tropical and Southern Africa and Madagascar, through Western Asia and India, to Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Southern China, Thailand and the Malesian region (recorded in Peninsular Malaysia, Java, the Philippines and New Guinea, probably also occurring elsewhere). It has been introduced in North America. [2]

Botanical Description

S. asiatica is a member of the family Scrophulariaceae. It is a small, annual, erect herb that can grow up to 40 cm tall. [2]

The stem is simple or sparsely branched and quadrangular. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite in lower part of the plant, alternate in upper part, simple, linear, measuring 5-15 mm x 1-1.5 mm, entire, hirsute on both surfaces and sessile. The stipules are absent. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary bracteate spike and sparsely flowered. The flowers are bisexual and with 2 bracteoles at the base of the sepal. The sepal is tubular, measures 5-6 mm long, with 5 stout ribs and subequally 5-lobed. The petal is 10-13 mm long and with tube abruptly incurved at apex, shortly glandular-pilose outside with spreading limb and 2-lipped. The upper lip is obtriangular and emarginated while the lower lip is 3-lobed, yellow and often scarlet inside. There are 4 stamens that are inserted near the top of the petal tube, didynamous, included and with short filaments. The ovary is superior, ellipsoid and 2-celled. The style is slender while the stigma is capitate. [2]

The fruit is an ovoid or spherical capsule, measures 3-5 mm long and many-seeded. [2]

The seeds are 0.3 mm long, broadly spindle-shaped and striate. [2]

The seedling is grown in the soil about 4-6 weeks with white, rounded and bearing scale-leaves. Their leaves are arranged opposite to alternate, later change to green, 4-angular, and densely hairy when emerge above the ground. [2]


S. asiatica is a hemiparasite on the roots of grasses. It may be a serious pest in crops, e.g. upland rice, maize and sorghum in Africa, and upland rice, maize, millet and sugar cane in India. Under more natural conditions, it occurs in deciduous forest, grasslands, along roadsides and in abandoned fields, up to 2000 m altitude. S. asiatica does not grow well in high rainfall areas. It prefers sandy and well-drained soils, but can also grow on clayey soils. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of S. asiatica [2]


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Aug 19]. Available from:
  2. Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12(3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 420.
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Vol. 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC-IMR: 2002. p.363.