HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Poaceae
Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P.Beauv.

Scientific names Common names
Echinochloa barbata Vanderyst Balili (Tag.)
Echinochloa crus-galli var. sieberiana (Asch. & Schw.) A.Chev. Banago (Sub.)
Echinochloa crus-galli var. stolonifera (Schw. &. Muschl.) A.Chev. Lagtomna-pula (Bik.)
Echinochloa hostii Steven ex Link Timsim (Tag.)
Echinochloa lelievrei (A.Chev.) Berhaut Uraroi (Bik.)
Echinochloa malakuensis Vanderyst Burgu grass (Engl.)
Echinochloa oryzetorum (A.Chev.) A.Chev. Burgu millet (Engl.)
Echinochloa scabra (Lam.) Roem. & Schult. Hippo grass (Engl.)
Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P.Beauv. Long-awn water grass (Engl.)
Oplismenus scaber (Lam.) Kunth  
Oplismenus stagninus (Retz.) Kunth  
Orthopogon stagninus (Retz.) Spreng.  
Panicum burgu A.Chev.  
Panicum crus-galli var. leopstachyum Franch.  
Panicum crus-galli var. maximum Franch  
Panicum crus-galli var. sieberianum Asch. & Schweinf.  
Panicum crus-galli var. stagninum (Retz.) Trimen  
Panicum crus-galli var. setoloniferum Schweinf. & Muschl.  
Panicum crus-galli var. submuticum Franch.  
Panicum galli Thunb.  
Panicum lelievrei A.Chev.  
Panicum oryzetorum A.Chev.  
Panicum oryzetum A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum Lam.  
Panicum scabrum subsp. burgu (A.Chev.) A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum var. franchetii A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum var. leiostachyum (Franch.) A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum subsp. lelievrei A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum subsp. oryzetorum A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum var.submuticum (Franch.) A.Chev.  
Panicum scabrum var. stagninum (Retz.) A.Chev.  
Panicum sieberianum (Asch. & Schweinf.) Sickenb.  
Panicum stagninum Retz.  
Panicum subaristatum Peter  
Balili is a common names shared by Panicum stagnimum and Juncus effiusus, Pingot (Bon.)
Panicum stagninum Retz. is a synonym of Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P.Beauv.
Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P.Beauv. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CAMEROON: Bourboumdje.
FIJIAN: Bangara gaddi.
FRENCH: Borgou, Pied de coq du Niger, Roseau sucré, Roseau a miel du Niger.
HAUSA: Bonekouan, Buuru(u)gu, Sakera.s
INDONESIAN: Rumput kumpai.
PORTUGUESE: Capim arroz.
SWEDISH: Borstig honshirs.

Gen info
- Echinochloa is a very widespread genus of plants in the grass family Poaceae. Some of the species in the genus are millets and grown as cereal or fodder crops. When not grown for that purpose, the grasses may become a nuisance to farmers. (9)
- Echinochloa comprises 30-40 species. It is a taxonomically difficult genus, as species are very variable and clear boundaries between species seldom exist and introgression between species is common. (1)
- Echinochloa stagnina is a species of Echinochloa widespread in tropical Africa and Asia.

Balili is a coarse, erect, aquatic or subaquatic grass in habit, 1 to 1.5 meters high, the lower parts decumbent and rooting at the nodes. Stems are 6 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Leaves are 20 to 40 centimeters long and 8 to 13 millimeters wide. Panicles are about 20 centimeters long or less. Spikes are green or purple, distinctly longer than the internodes, spreading or ascending, about 1. 5 centimeters long, nearly 1 centimeter thick. Spikelets are in pairs in two rows, nearly 5 millimeters long, the empty glumes hispid on the nerves, the third glume with a long or short awn.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Found throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces
, growing in open shallow water and in low, wet places, swamps, and borders of lakes and streams, at low and medium altitudes.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Borneo, Bostwana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chand, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Free State, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Pakistan, Rwanda, Réunion, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe. (3)
- Considered invasive in many Pacific islands.

- Contains saccharose, 10%; reducing sugar, 7%; and emulsin.
- In a comparative nutritive analysis, E. stagnina yielded the highest in crude fibers, high phytomass.
-Study of chemical composition reported: Dry matter 19.3, crude protein 1.3, ether extract 0.4, crude fiber 6.5, and ash 2.3. (2)
- Phytochemical screening revealed tannins and sterols. Roots possessed the highest polyphenol contents: 3.20±0.01 g/100g dry wt. Elemental analysis of ethanol extract yielded (dry weight basis): Fe 37.52±0.01 mg/g, Mn 90.07±0.03 mg/g, Zn 3.4±0.06 µg/g, Cu 123.1±0.06 µg/g. (6)
- Study for phytochemical composition and nutritional value for shoots revealed: moisture 11.20%, fiber 27.65%, crude proteins (6.90%) and total carbohydrates (70.36%). Shoots showed (mg/g dw) flavonoid content of 6.88 mg/g, alkaloids 5.66 mg/g, tannins 18.23 mg/g, saponins 1.99 mg/g and total phenols of 33.09 mg/g.  Caloric value was 219.72 kcal/100g dry matter and potential energy of 315.21 kcal/100g dry matter. The soils of S. stagnina showed a moisture content of 24.35%, water holding capacity of 45.85%,  chloride 1.15%, sulphates 0.95%, organic carbon 2.52%, and Na+ 66.78 mg/kg. (see study below) (10)

Considered styptic and tonic.
- Study has suggested antimicrobial, phytoremediative, supplemental nutritive properties.

Parts used
Roots, shoots.


- In tropical Africa, grains collected as cereal, especially in times of food shortage. (1)
- Sweet stems and rhizomes used to produce alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. (1)
- Used for extraction of sugar for making confectionery and liqueurs.
- Culms are sweet with a sugary sap that contain 10% sucrose and 7-8% reducing sugars, which children suck on the for sweet juice. (1)
- Sweet culms are sun-dried to extract sugar.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Decoction of pith used as diuretic.

- In Mali, macerated stems in water provide a sweet solution used as energizer and to counter intoxication with Fugosia digitata. Fine powder of dried stems of Glinus oppostifolius and juice of stems of E. stagnina drunk as remedy against malaria. (8)
- Elsewhere, used as folk remedy for treating carbuncles, hemorrhages, sores, cancer and wounds.
- Shoots and roots used as styptic to wounds.
- In Nigeria, roots and whole plant used for treatment of malaria and bilharziasis (schistosomiasis). (11)
- In Cameroon, dried and powdered bark applied to chronic wounds to facilitate healing. (12)
- Fodder: In Egypt, grown as fodder grass. Chickens suck the stems for sugar. (1) Considered an important source of proteins for herbivores.
- Thatching: Stems used for thatching and mat making. (1)
- Soap / Dye: Ash of burnt soap used in making soap and as mordant with indigo dye. (1)
- Agroforestry:  Tolerates floods well; helps control erosion. Supports sustainable landcare.

Study evaluated ethanolic and water extracts of three macrophytes (roots): Echinochloa stagnina, P. stratiotes, and N. lotus for antimicrobial activities. All the tested microorganisms showed susceptibility (S. aureus, Candida albicans, B. subtilis) to moderate resistance (Salmonella and Shigella spp.) against E. stagnina ethanolic extract. The antimicrobial activity of the water extract was significantly reduced by 50%. (see constituents above) (6)
• Phytoremediation:
Phytoremediation using Echinochloa stagnina has shown to be an cost-effective alternative method to restore saline clay soil beneficial for crop production. (Ado et al, 2016) (7)
Comparative Nutritional Value of Grazeable Shoots: Study compared the phytochemical composition and nutritional value of two Echinochloa species (E. stagnina and E. colona). Above ground grazeable shoots of E. stagnina showed higher proximate composition, minerals, and secondary metabolites than E. colona. Both are rich-source in nutrients with great energy value. The grasses are candidates as feed for livestock or as supplementary feed after toxicological studies. (10)


                                                 Abuse and Plagiarism of the Compilation on Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                                                                  Under the Guise of Fair Use

Updated August 2023 / February 2020 / June 2017 / October 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds /Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P. Beauv. - hippo grass / ECST4 / Jose Hernandez, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Echinochloa stagnina - Fruiting stem / Tariq Stevart / Creative Commons / click on image to go to source page / Useful Tropical Plants
IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P. Beauv. [as Panicum stagninum Retz.] Wood, J.M., Evans, M.S., Natal plants, vol. 5: t. 492 (1904-1908) / Plant Illustrations

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Echinochloa stagnina (PROTA) / M Brink / Pl@ntUse
Off-farm fodder sources in agroforestry / Livestock and Poultry Production (IIRR, 1992)
Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P.Beauv. / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Burgu (Echinochloa stagnina) / Feedipedia
Evaluation of the Nutrient Status of Some Hydrophytes in the Water Courses of Nile Delta, Egypt / Kamal H. Shaltout, Tarek M. Galal, and Thanaa M. El-Komi / Journal of Botany, 2009; Volume 2009 /
DOI: 10.1155/2009/862565

In vitro: Antimicrobial potential and phytochemical screening of some egyptian aquatic plants / Said M. Daboor, Amany M. Haroon / The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research, 2012; Volume 38, Issue 4: pp 233–239 / https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejar.2013.01.005
Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal-Contaminated Saline Soils Using Halophytes: Current Progress and Future Perspectives /
Lichen Liang, Weitao Liu, Yuebing Sun, Xiaohui Huo, Song Li, Qixing Zhou / Environmental Reviews
An Ethnobotanical Survey of Herbal Drugs of Gourma District, Mali / Drissa Diallo, Britt Hveem, Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, Gunnvor Berge, Berit Smestad Paulsen & Aboubacar Maiga / Pharmaceutical Biology, 3(1): pp 80-91 / DOI: 10.1076/phbi.
Echinochloa / Wikipedia
On the ecology and nutritional value of two Echinochloa species (Echinochloa colona and Echinochloa stagnina) in Egypt / Fawzy Omran Mohammed Elqarnwdy, Massuod Abdullah Ali Massuod, Aml Altahir Mohammed Alnaas et al / Journal of Medicinal Plant Studies, 2021; 9(1): pp 8-13 / eISSN: 2320-3862 / pISSN: 2394-0530
Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants used for the management of pediatric ailments in Kano State, Nigeria / U S Abubakar, K M Yusuf, G T Abdu, S R Saidu, G A Jamila, A Fatima / Research Journal of Pharmacognosy, 2017; 4(3): pp 29-39
An Ethnobotanical Study of Plants with Curative and Wound-Healing Properties in the Northern Zone of Cameroon / Christiane Pierrette Koungou, Ahmed Davy Ali, Djakao Iya-sou, Tchobsala, Helene Carole Edima / Open Access Library Journal, 2023; Volume 10: e10026 / eISSN: 2333-9721 / pISSN: 2333-9705

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT