Desmostachya bipinnata

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Desmostachya bipinnata
Description de l'Égypte (Pl. 10) (9301605394).jpg
Desmostachya bipinnata (right plant)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Desmostachya
Species: D. bipinnata
Binomial name
Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Briza bipinnata L.
  • Eragrostis bipinnata (L.) K.Schum.
  • Eragrostis cynosuriodes (Retz.) P.Beauv.
  • Poa cynosuriodes Retz.
  • Stapfiola bipinnata (L.) Kuntze
  • Uniola bipinnata (L.) L. (basionym)

Desmostachya bipinnata, commonly known in English by the names Halfa grass, big cordgrass, and salt reed-grass,[5] is an Old World perennial grass, long known and used in human history. In India it is known by many names, including: daabh, darbha, kusa, etc.[6]


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).[2]



In folk medicine, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used variously to treat dysentery and menorrhagia, and as a diuretic.[7]


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.[8] The plant was mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and the gods.[9] Kusha grass is specifically recommended by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as part of the ideal seat for meditation.[10]


In arid regions, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used as fodder for livestock.[2]

Weed information[edit]

In agriculture, Desmostachya bipinnata is a weed commonly found in wheat crops.[11]


  1. ^  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.
  2. ^ a b c  "Desmostachya bipinnata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  3. ^  Uniola bipinnata, the basionym for D. bipinnata, was originally described and published in Species Plantarum ed. 2, 1:104. 1762 "Uniola bipinnata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flora of Pakistan. eFloras. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  5. ^ Martha Modzelevich. "Desmostachya bipinnata". Flowers in Israel. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  6. ^ "Daabh". Flowers of India. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  7. ^ James A. Duke. "Desmostachya bipinnata (POACEAE)". Green Farmacy Garden, Fulton, Maryland: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Griffith, Ralph T. H. (1896). The Hymns of the Rigveda, Volume 1. p. 4.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ 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.

Further reading[edit]