Themeda arguens (L.) Hack.

Last updated: 17 Jun 2016

Scientific Name

Themeda arguens (L.) Hack.


Anthistiria arguens (L.) Willd., Anthistiria arguens (Thunb.) Nees [Illegitimate], Anthistiria frondosa R.Br., Anthistiria pilifera Steud., Aristaria barbata Jungh., Stipa arguens L., Stipa arguens Thunb. [Illegitimate], Themeda frondosa (R.Br.) Merr. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput misai adam, rumput janggut adam, rumput sarang pipit [2]
English Christmas grass [3]
Thailand Yao chao chuu, ya chao chu [3]
Indonesia Suket merak-merakan, suket merakan, memerakan (Javanese); kakasangan, kasang beureum, ramo kasang (Sundanese) [2]

Geographical Distributions

Themeda arguens is found in the region from India to Australia. It occurs sparingly in Peninsular Malaysia. [2]

Botanical Description

T. arguens is a member of the family Poacea. It usually grows in tufts rather than solitary and reaches up to 120 cm tall with leaves mostly at the base. [4]

The leaf-sheaths of basal leaves are compressed, keeled, usually glabrous except at the junction with the blades. The upper sheaths are longer and rounded. Leaf-blades are linear measuring 5-30 x 0.3-0.8 cm; green or purplish in colour, flat or slightly folded in shape. [4]

The inflorescence of spatheate spike-like racemes arranged in flabelliform clusters from the ends or upper nodes. Each raceme subtended by a spatheate bract bears 1 sessile bisexual, each reduced to a single glume. Fertile spikelet with the upper lemma extended into a long twisted awn of 3.5-9 cm. The awn remains attached to the grain; it twists and untwists hygroscopically helping to bury the grain. [4]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

Whole plant. [5]

Traditional Use

In Indonesia, it is used in the treatment of lumbago and rheumatism. [5] In Java, the pulped plant is applied as a poultice to treat lumbago. Malays of Northeastern Pahang may sometimes use the roots for similar purposes.

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Themeda arguens (L.) Hack.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Jun 17] Available from:
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 386.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume III R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 554.
  4. Chin SC, Tan HTW. The concise flora of Singapore: Monocotyledons Volume 2. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1998; p. 185
  5. Johnson T. CRC ethnobotany desk reference. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1999; p. 834