Common Weeds of East Africa




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Common Weeds of East Africa
A comprehensive list of weeds, plants, and grasses.
BOTANICAL NAME COMMON NAME
1. Galinsoga parviflora Gallant soldier, Macdonaldi

2. Lantana camara Lantana, Tick-berry

3. Kyllinga erecta Creeping sedge

4. Cyperus rotundus Purple nutsedge

5. Cyperus esculentus Yellow nutsedge

6. Typha domingensis Reedmace

7. Euphorbia hirta Asthma weed

8. Nicandra phaseoloides Chinese lantern

9. Boerhavia diffusa Tarvine

10. Commelina benghalensis Wandering jew

11. Trichodesma zeylanicum Late weed

12. Oxalis corniculata Yellow sorrel

13. Oxalis latifolia Oxalis species

14. Bidens pilosa Black jack

15. Tagetes minuta Mexican marigold, Tall khaki weed

16. Argemone mexicana Mexican Poppy, Mexican thistle

17. Datura stramonium Thorn apple

18. Solanum incanum Sodom apple

19. Solanum suave Solanum species

20. Solanum nigrum Black night shade

21. Leonotis mollissima Lion's ear

22. Leucas martinicensis Bobbin weed

23. Ocimum basilicum Mentha

24. Ageratum conyzoides Goat weed

25. Caesalpinia decapetala Mauritius thorn

26. Opuntia exaltata Cactus, Prickly pear

27. Setaria verticillata Love grass, Bristly foxtail

28. Acacia brevispica Wait-a-bit thorn

29. Achyranthes aspera Devil's horsewhip

30. Cynoglossum caeruleum Forget-me-not

31. Senecio ruwenzoriensis Mau narok ragwort

32. Sonchus oleraceus Sow-thistle

33. Sphaeranthus sauveolens Hardheads

34. Psiadia arabica Psiadia

35. Tridax procumbens P.W.D. weed

36. Ricinus communis Costor-oil plants

37. Sida acuta Sweeping broom

38. Crotalaria polysperma Rattle pod

39. Indigiofera spicata Creeping indigo

40. Oxygonum sinuatum Double thorn

41. Rumex acetosella Sheep's sorrel

42. Pteridium aquilinum Bracken fern

43. Tephrosia sinapou Fish poison

Tephrosia vogelii " "

44. Cyphostemma Kilimandscharicum Wild and Drum

45. Cassia abbreviata Long pod cassia

46. Bambusa spinosa Bambusa (Mwanzi)

47. Conyza stricta Conyza species

48. Conyza sumatrensis " "

49. Conyza bonariensis " "

50. Sporobolus puramidalis Rat's tail grass

51. Striga hermontheca Purple witchweed

52. Striga asiatica Red witchweed

53. Striga forbesii

Identification of grass species
BOTANICAL NAME COMMON NAME
1. Pennisetum purpureum Elephant grass, Napier grass

2. Tripsacum laxum Guatemala grass

3. Setaria splendida Giant setaria

4. Canna edulis Edible canna

5. Chloris gayana Rhodes grass

6. Cenchrus ciliaris Buffel grass, African fox-tail

7. Cenchrus setigerus Birdwood grass

8. Brachiaria brizantha Signal grass, Palisade grass

9. Brachiaria ruziziensis Ruzi grass, Congo signal grass

10. Melinis minutiflora Molasses grass

11. Setaria anceps Nandi setaria, Jaraqua grass

12. Hyparrhenia rufa Thatch grass

Plants, weeds, and trees identified as not good for compost piles.
BOTANICAL NAME COMMON NAME
1. Kyllinga erecta Creeping sedge.

Brief Description: This is a grass that spreads quite easily and roots at nodes. Chances are it will grow in our compost pile and use up essential nutrients.


2. Cynodone dactylon Star grass or Bermuda grass.

Another grass that spreads easily and roots at nodes it will grow in our piles.


3. Commelina bengalensus Wandering Jew.

Also roots at nodes and will probably grow in our compost piles.


4. Amaranthus Pig weed.

Invasive weed. Plant has itchy spines which might make it difficult to harvest for compost and the seeds could possibly survive the heat of our compost pile.


5. Bidens spilosa Black jack.

Invasive weed, seeds are very persistant and may survive the heat of our compost pile. Also not desirable on grazing lands because the seeds can irritate the eyes of grazers like cattle and sheep.


6. Oxalis corniculata Yellow sorrel.

Invasive weed, seeds will survive the heat of our compost pile. However, has medicinal properties; used as an aid for stomach aches in small children. Crush the leaves and add water.


7. Lactuca capensis common name?

Invasive weed seeds will survive the heat of our piles. However has medicinal properties. Plant contains a white liquid that can be used in the treatment of Malaria. Add liquid with water, heat and use as a vaporizor.


8. Leucas martinicensus Bobbon weed.

Invasive weed, seeds will survive the heat of our pile. Do not add to compost

Plants, weeds, and trees identified as useful for compost piles.
1. Cedrella

Disiduous tree, during short rainy season leaves turn from green to yellow. Produces small round fruits. Introduced in the Arusha region as a mosquito repellent (in the leaves) by the Germans.


2. Lantana camara Lantana and Tick berry.

Climbing vine that produces small red fruits. The fruits grow clustered together resembling a dark mass of ticks. When red the berries can be eaten, however when not ripe, the green berries are poisonous. Use around plot as an attractor of beneficial birds.


3. Canna indica Canalily

Yellow lilly flower. Produces beautiful yellow flowers that are beneficial insect attractors. Has large biomass and also can be cut and turned into the soil as green manure in sheet composting. Its' broad leaves easily harvested for compost and they breakdown rapidly. Spreads by rhizomes and is easily propagated


4. Galinsoga paniflora Galant soldier

Friendly weed that is high in protien content and decomposes rapidly. Protien highest during the initial flowering stage. Good for compost. The leaves are also sometimes eaten as vegetales by local people.


5. Setaria homonyma common name?

Resembles what we call elephant grass. Shade loving grass that does not spread easily. Ideal for drying and using as brown material in compost.


6. Eleucine indica Wild finger millet or Crows foot grass.

Grass that produces long seed containers that grow out of the top of the plant in a star shape resembling the foot of a crow. Ideal for drying and using as brown material in compost.


7. Solanum incanum Sodom Apple.

Related to tomatoes. Produces green striated fruit that is harder and smaller than apples. The fruit is poisonous it contains solonine. Sometimes it is crossbred with tomatoes to aid in drought resistance. Leaves and stems are good for use as green materials in compost, but they do contain thorns.


8. Ageratum conyzoides Goat Weed.

Produces small blue flowers that smell like male goats, hence the name goat weed. The plant is an annual that is very prevalent and is suitable for use as green material for compost.


9. Tangentus minuta Mexican Merigold.

Has allelopathic properties. Can be used as a weed deterrent and as a soil cleanser if your garden is overtaken by invasives such as cuch grass. However, it's allopathic effects can be persistent in the soil and affect your crops, so use carefully. It can also be used as an effective border against invasives and as an insect deterrent.


10. Conyza bonariensus common name?

Classified as a friendly weed. Has medium sized long green leaves that are good for use as green material in compost.


11. Trichordesma zeylanican Late Weed.

Blooms later than most other weeds, and usually after the time of harvest for most crops? Has an itchy effect, however can be used as compost material although it does not produce much biomass.


12. Borhava difusa Tarvine.

Resembles a vine that is red in color. O.K. for use in compost although it dies not produce much biomass.


13. Achyranthus aspera Devil's horse whip.

Produces long seed containers that shoot out from the top of the stems. These seed containers, resemble a whip one uses to train horses. They have an itchy effect. However, the leaves and srem can be used as compost material.


Information provided by: Mr. Mtae at MATI Tengeru



Reference: East African Weeds and their Control, by Ivens


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