Desmostachya bipinnata, commonly known in English by the names Halfa grass, Big cordgrass, and Salt reed-grass, is an Old World perennial grass, long known and used in human history. In India it is known by many names, including: Daabh, Darbha, Kusha, etc.
Desmostachya bipinnata is native to northeast and west tropical, and northern Africa (in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia); and countries in the Middle East, and temperate and tropical Asia (in Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand).
Desmostachya bipinnata has long been used in various traditions as a sacred plant. According to early Buddhist accounts, it was the material used by Buddha for his meditation seat when he attained enlightenment. The plant was mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and the gods. Kusha grass is specifically recommended by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as part of the ideal seat for meditation.
- Desmostachya bipinnata was published in W. T. Thiselton-Dyer's Flora Capensis; being a systematic description of the plants of the Cape Colony, Caffraria, & port Natal. London 7(4): 632. 1900 "Plant Name Details for Desmostachya bipinnata". IPNI. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- GRIN (August 31, 2000). "Desmostachya bipinnata information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Uniola bipinnata, the basionym for D. bipinnata, was originally described and published in Species Plantarum ed. 2, 1:104. 1762 GRIN (August 31, 2000). "Uniola bipinnata information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flora of Pakistan. eFloras. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- Martha Modzelevich. "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flowers in Israel. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Daabh". Flowers of India. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- James A. Duke. "Desmostachya bipinnata (POACEAE)". Green Farmacy Garden, Fulton, Maryland: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Professor Paul Williams (2006). Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies (Critical Concepts in Religious Studies S.). New York: Routledge. p. 262. ISBN 0-415-33226-5.
- Griffith, Ralph T. H. (1896). The Hymns of the Rigveda, Volume 1. p. 4.
- "Establishing a firm seat for himself, In a clean place, Not too high, Not too low, covered with cloth, and antelope skin, and kusha grass" (B.G. VI:11) Smith, Huston; Chapple, Christopher; Sargeant, Winthrop (2009). The Bhagavad Gita (Excelsior Editions). Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo. p. 282. ISBN 1-4384-2842-1.
- Ahmad, R., Shaikh, A.S. (January–June 2003). "Common Weeds of Wheat and Their Control". Pakistan Journal of Water Resources 7 (1): 73–76. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Mahdihassan, S. (1987). "Three Important Vedic Grasses". Indian Journal of History and Science 22 (4): 286–291. Retrieved February 7, 2011.