Desmostachya bipinnata

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Desmostachya bipinnata
Description de l'Égypte (Pl. 10) (9301605394).jpg
Desmostachya bipinnata (right plant)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Desmostachya
D. bipinnata
Binomial name
Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Briza bipinnata L.
  • Cynosurus durus Forssk.
  • Dactylis interrupta Rottler ex Stapf
  • Desmostachya cynosuroides (Retz.) Stapf ex Massey
  • Desmostachya pingalaiae Raole & R.J.Desai
  • Dinebra dura Lag.
  • Eragrostis bipinnata (L.) K.Schum.
  • Eragrostis cynosuroides (Retz.) P.Beauv.
  • Eragrostis thunbergii Baill.
  • Leptochloa bipinnata (L.) Hochst.
  • Megastachya bipinnata (L.) P.Beauv.
  • Poa cynosuroides Retz.
  • Pogonarthria bipinnata (L.) Chiov.
  • Rabdochloa bipinnata (L.) Kuntze
  • Stapfiola bipinnata (L.) Kuntze
  • Uniola bipinnata (L.) L.

Desmostachya bipinnata, commonly known in English by the names halfa grass, big cordgrass, and salt reed-grass,[3] is an Old World perennial grass, long known and used in human history.


Desmostachya bipinnata is native to northeast and west tropical, and northern Africa (in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, 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).[4]



In folk medicine, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used variously to treat dysentery and menorrhagia, and as a diuretic.[5]

A traditional darbhasāna from India that is used by Hindus for japa.


Desmostachya bipinnata has long been used in various traditions (Hindus, Jains and Buddhists) as a very sacred plant. According to early Buddhist accounts, it was the material used by Buddha for his meditation seat when he attained enlightenment.[6] The plant was mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and the gods.[7] Kusha grass is specifically recommended by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as part of the ideal seat for meditation.[8]


In arid regions, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used as fodder for livestock.[4]

Weed information[edit]

In agriculture, Desmostachya bipinnata is a weed commonly found in wheat crops.[9]


  1. ^ Lansdown, R.V. (2013). "Desmostachya bipinnata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T13579796A13596921. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Desmostachya bipinnata". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  3. ^ Martha Modzelevich. "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flowers in Israel. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Desmostachya bipinnata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  5. ^ James A. Duke. "Desmostachya bipinnata (POACEAE)". Green Farmacy Garden, Fulton, Maryland: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved June 15, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Griffith, Ralph T. H. (1896). The Hymns of the Rigveda, Volume 1. p. 4.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ Ahmad, R.; Shaikh, A.S. (January–June 2003). "Common Weeds of Wheat and Their Control" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of Water Resources. 7 (1): 73–76. Retrieved June 15, 2011.[permanent dead link]

Further reading[edit]