Purple witchweed

Courtesy EcoPort (http://www.ecoport.org): David C. Nowell
Is this a Minor Pest?
Minor Pest Title

Purple witchweed (Striga hermonthica)

Minor Pest Description

The parasitic weed Striga is a major pest of sorghum, particularly in Africa, where severe infestations can lead to land being abandoned. Striga attaches itself to sorghum roots depriving it of nutrients and preventing them from establishing and growing properly.

Minor Pest What to do.
  • Striga can be controlled manually by vigorous uprooting before it produces seeds and/or by intercropping sorghum with fast spreading legumes which deprives the weed of sunlight and exude chemical substances the reduce striga growth. Desmodium for instance has been shown to depress striga almost completely. Considerable efforts have been dedicated to develop resistant varieties. Some of the varieties/lines developed or identified with resistance in Africa are: "Dobbs", "SAR 1" to "34", "L.1872, "ICSV 1002", "SRN", "Framida" and "IS938" (ICRISAT).
Minor Pest Position
Minor Pest Firstcontent
Pest Type
Local names; Swahili: Gugu chawi (viduha)
Other Crops
Upland rice
Host Plants