Illustrator: Linda A. Vorobik, Karen Klitz
Copyright: Utah State University
Plants tufted annuals or short¬lived, shortly stoloniferous perennials. Culms 10-35(100) cm, usually geniculately ascending and rooting at the lower nodes. Sheaths keeled, with papillose-based hairs distally; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm, membranous, ciliate; blades 5-22 cm long, 2-8(12) mm wide, with papillose-based hairs. Panicle branches (1)2-6(8), 1.5-6 cm, only the first few spikelets in contact with the spikelets of adjacent branches; branch axes extending beyond the spikelets for 1-6 mm. Spikelets 3-4.5 mm long, about 3 mm wide. Glumes 1.5-2 mm; lower glumes ovate, acute; upper glumes oblong elliptic, obtuse, awned, awns 1-2.5 mm; lemmas 2.5-3.5 mm, ovate, midveins extended into curved, 0.5-1 mm awns; paleas about as long as the lemmas; anthers 0.5-0.8 mm, pale yellow. Seeds cuboid, about 1 mm long and wide, transversely rugose, light tan to reddish-brown. 2n = 20, 36, 40, 45, 48.
Pacific Islands (Hawaii), Fla., N.J., N.Mex., Tex., La., Tenn., N.C., S.C., Pa., N.Y., Va., Colo., Calif., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Ala., Ark., Ill., Ga., Ariz., Maine, Md., Mass., Ohio, Miss.
Dactyloctenium aegyptium is a widely distributed weed of disturbed sites in the Flora region. It is also considered a weed in southern Africa, but the seeds have been used for food and drink in times of famine. In addition, bruised young seeds have been used as a fish poison, and extracts are reputed to help kidney ailments and coughing (Koekemoer 1991). In Australia, it is planted as a sand stabilizer along the coast (Jacobs and Hastings 1993).