Eleusine aegyptia (Linn) Desf.
Annual; culms up to 70(100) cm high, usually geniculately ascending and rooting at the lower nodes, frequently shortly stoloniferous and mat-forming, less often erect. Leaf-blades flat, 3-25 cm long, 2.5-7.5 mm wide, papillose-hispid especially along the margins. Inflorescence composed of (1)3-9 linear to narrowly oblong spikes 1.2-6.5 cm long. Spikelets 3-4-flowered, broadly ovate, 3.5-4.5 mm long; glumes subequal, 1.5-2.2 mm long, the lower lanceolate in profile with a thick scabrid keel, the upper elliptic to narrowly obovate in profile, the smooth keel extended into a stout divergent scabrid awn half to twice as long as the glume; lemmas narrowly ovate to ovate in profile, 2.6-4 mm long, the keel gibbous, concave and scabrid above the middle and often extended into a stout cusp or mucro up to 1 mm long; palea-keels winged or wingless; anthers 0.25-0.8 mm long. Grain about 1 mm long, broadly obovate to obtriangular in profile, transversely rugose.
Fl. & Fr. Per. July-October.
Type: Egypt (description in Bauhin, Pinax 7. 1623; Theatr. 110. 1658) and India (Illustration in Pluk. Alm. 175. t.300/8. 1696).
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Punjab, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); widely distributed in tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World; introduced in America.
An exceedingly variable pantropical annual weed, typically with sprawling geniculately ascending culms and linear spikes radiating in a star-like manner from the culm-tip, but also including plants with compact oblong spikes, occasionally very similar to those of Dactyloctenium aristatum from which it is most easily distinguished by its rugose grain. Duthie has reported that it is a very nutritious fodder grass for cattle, being both fattening and milk-producing. Egyptian Finger-grass is sporadic in its appearance.