We depend on donations from users of our database of over 8000 edible and useful plants to keep making it available free of charge and to further extend and improve it. In recent months donations are down, and we are spending more than we receive. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Digitaria ciliaris - (Retz.)Koeler.

Common Name Southern Crab Grass, Southern crabgrass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Waste ground and cultivated fields all over Japan[58].
Range Cosmopolitan in warmer areas of the world.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Digitaria ciliaris Southern Crab Grass, Southern crabgrass

Digitaria ciliaris Southern Crab Grass, Southern crabgrass


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Digitaria ciliaris is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


D. marginata. Link. Panicum adscendens.


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

One report says the plant is edible but does not specify which part[145]. A wild millet grass with possibly edible seeds [1b].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More


Other Uses


Fodder/animal feed, Forage. Environmental: Agroforestry, Soil conservation. D. ciliaris cv. Red River is a high-yielding forage and conservation-type cultivar developed and released in 1988 [1d].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A polymorphic species[58].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now



Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bamboo grass; blanket crabgrass; hairy crabgrass; Henry's crabgrass; large crabgrass; smooth crabgrass; summergrass; tropical finger grass. Spanish: frente de toro; fresadilla; hierba conejo; hierba estival; pangola; zacate de agua. Chinese: xian mao ma tang. Australia: crab grass; summer grass. Bhutan: chittrey banso; tampula. Brazil: capim tinga; capim-colchao; capim-de-roça; capim-milhá; milhá. Dominican Republic: grama dulce cimarrona; pata de cotorra; pendejuelo. Germany: aufsteigende fingerhirse; wimper- fingerhirse. India: malsa; malsh; suruwari. Indonesia: jampang jemprak; jampang pait; suket djrempak; sunbak gangrir. Japan: mehishiba. Java: genjeran; jelamparan; suket ceker ayam. Malaysia: cakar ayam. Mexico: zacate cangrejo; zacate velludo. Peru: gramilla; pasto colchón; pata de gallo. Philippines: baludyangan; saka-saka. Puerto Rico: pata de gallina; yerba de juey. Sri Lanka: arisi pul; guru tana. Thailand: jya-ma-tang; yah-tin-nok; ya-plongkhanok. Vietnam: tuc hinh leo.

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Australian Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Amazonas, Bahia, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Anhui, China, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang, Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, CÙte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, French Guiana, Gambia, Georgia (Republic of), Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, India, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea DPR, Korea Republic of, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. D. ciliaris is a typical weedy annual grass, flourishing mainly in disturbed, open areas, with full sun or partial shade. It is a widespread weed of annual and perennial crops, including pastures, in the tropics and sub-tropics. It is also abundant on roadsides and wasteland [1d]. Listed as a serious or principal weed of 11 countries, mainly in Asia and in a wide range of crops, including groundnut, cotton, rice, maize, sorghum, vegetables, pineapple, cassava and tea [1d].

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Digitaria sanguinalisCrab Grass, Hairy crabgrassAnnual0.5 6-9 FLMNM212

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Digitaria ciliaris  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.