Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth

Last updated: 20 April 2016

Scientific Name

Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth


Fimbristylis angularis Link, Fimbristylis benghalensis (Pers.) Roem. & Schult, Fimbristylis fauriei Ohwi, Fimbristylis miliacea (L.) Vahl, Fimbristylis mucronata Vahl, Iria angularis (Link) Kuntze, Iria miliacea (L.) Kuntze, Iria quinquangularis (Vahl) Kuntze, Isolepis angularis Schrad. ex Schult, Isolepis miliacea (L.) J.Presl & C.Presl, Isolepis pentagona (Roxb.) Schult, Isolepis tetragona Schult, Scirpus benghalensis Pers, Scirpus miliaceus L., Scirpus niloticus Blanco, Scirpus parviflorus Willd. ex Kunth, Scirpus pentagonus Roxb, Scirpus plantagineus Roxb, [Illegitimate] Scirpus quadrangularis Thouars, Scirpus quinquangularis Vahl, Scirpus salbundius Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. [Invalid], Scirpus tetragonus Roxb. [Illegitimate], Trichelostylis angularis (Link) Nees, Trichelostylis miliacea (L.) Nees ,Trichelostylis pentagona Nees, Trichelostylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Nees, Trichelostylis tetragona (Schult.) Nees, Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth [1].

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput Bukit [2]
English Grass-like fimbristylis, grass-like fimbry, lesser fimbry, globe fingerush, hoorahgrass [3]
India Ghueen, dilli [3]
Vietnam Chh [3]
Japan Hiderike [3]
Palauan Kerngimes kederang [3]
Spain Barba de Fraile. [3]

Geographical Distributions

Fimbristylis quinquangularis is a widespread weed which can be found in the wild at wet areas, riverbanks and rice-fields. It is well distributed in both hemispheres, mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions. It is present in the throughout tropical Africa, to India and the rest of the Asian region, as well as in temperate regions of the Pacific. In the Asian rice belt where it is said to originate from, F. quinquangularis is a ubiquitous weed which is sometimes invasive. [3-8][12][13] In Malaysia, it is the most common sedge found in direct-seeded rice fields. [13]

Botanical Description

F. quinquangularis belongs to the Cyperaceae family, or the sedge family. The specie is a densely tufted annual and occasionally biennial plant.

The roots are fibrous and devoid of rhizomes. [5][10] It can be characterised by its slender, flaccid stem which grows up to 90 cm in height.

The stem is about 0.8 to 1.2 mm in diameters and broadens up at the base to approximately 5 mm in diameters. The leaves are stiff and thread-like.

The leaves grow to two thirds of the length of the stems but are able to grow longer than the stem. On non-flowering stems, it fans out in two rows with flattened sheaths. Each blade is about 1.5-2 mm wide and is green on one side.

The inflorescence is branched, around 50 mm in diameters and grows to a range of 6-10 cm in length. It consists of 6-50 reddish brown spikelets. Spikelets are either round or narrow acutely at the apex and are 2-5 mm long for each spikelet.  The nuts or seeds are obovoid in shape. The colour of the seeds is range from grey to pale yellowish to white. The species fruits from summer to fall in temperate regions and all year in tropical regions. [3-10][12][13][14]


F. quinquangularis is known to absorb heavy metals and can be used to remove zinc in waste water treatment.F. quinquangularis can produce around 10 000 seeds, which easily germinate once matured. Germination occurs in shallow water or in the absence of water. The seeds are known to survive ploughing in paddy fields where seedlings appear soon after rice is sown and continue to emerge throughout the entire season. As it is also a cattle-fodder, it is spread via droppings as the seeds are mostly undigested when eaten. [5][10][14]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

Leaves [8][10][14]

Traditional Use

In the Philippines, the leaves are used in the form of poultice for the treatment of fever. [8]

Preclinical Data


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 255.
  3. Philippines Medicinal Plants Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth. [homepage on the internet]. c2014 [updated June 2016; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  4. CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Fimbristylis littoralis [homepage on the internet]. c2017. [updated 2014 Apr 22; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  5. Flora of Pakistan. Volume 206. Fimbristylis miliacea. [homepage on the internet]. No date [cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  6. Flora of North of America. Volume 23. Fimbristylis miliacea. [homepage on the internet] c2007. No date [cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  7. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Plant Database. Fimbristylis quinquangularis (Vahl) Kunth. [homepage on the internet]. No date [cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  8. Prayoonrat P. A survey of some medicinal narrow leaf weeds in Chonburi, Thailand. [document on the internet] Chonburi, Thailand: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Burapha University, Bangsaen. No date. [cited 2016 May 11] Available from:
  9. IRRI. Rice Knowledge Bank. Fimbristylis miliacea. [homepage on the internet] No date. [cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  10. Liu J, Dong Y, Xu H, Wang D, Xu J. Accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn by 19 wetland plant species in constructed wetland. J Hazard Mater. 2007;147(3):947-953.
  11. Koyama T. The Genus Fimbristylis (Cyperaceae) in Ceylon. Bot Mag Tokyo. 1974;87:301-331.
  12. Watanabe H, Ismail MZ, Ho NaiKin. Response of 2,4-D resistant biotype of Fimbristylis miliacea (L.) Vahl. to 2,4-D dimethylamine and its distribution in the Muda Plain, Peninsular. J Weed Sci Tech. 1997;42(3):240-249
  13. ITHAKA. J Stor Global Plants. Fimbristylis Littoralis. [homepage on the internet]. c2000-2017 [cited 2016 May 11] Available from:
  14. CABI. Crop Protection Compendium. Fimbristylis Littoralis Gaud [homepage on the internet] c2017. [updated 2014 Apr 22; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from: