Random invasive species images that represents what NISIC does
USDA.gov NAL NISIC Sudden oak death Formosan subterranean termite Yellow star thistle Giant African snail Cactus moth Purple loosestrife
HomeAbout National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC)News and EventscouncilHelpContact Us
 Search the National Invasive Species Information Center
Search all USDA
Advanced Search
Browse by Geography
United States
Browse by Subject
Aquatic Species
Economic Impacts
Laws and Regulations
Manager's Tool Kit
Resource Library
You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Witchweed
Species Profiles


Witchweed - Invasive.org

Scientific name: Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze (ITIS)

Synonym: Striga lutea Lour. (ITIS)

Common names: Witchweed, Asiatic witchweed, red witchweed

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: Africa and Asia (Werth et al. 1984)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First identified in North Carolina in 1956 (Werth et al. 1984)

Means of Introduction: Accidental (Spallek et al. 2013)

Impact: Parasitic plant that attacks agricultural crops, including corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and rice (Werth et al. 1984)

Current U.S. Distribution: North Carolina, South Carolina

Federally Regulated:

  • Noxious Weeds Program
    USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
    Includes species listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import or transport between States without a permit.



Selected Resources:

Back to Top


Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S. - Fact Sheet: Striga
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Striga asiatica
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Witchweed
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Species Compendium - Striga asiatica
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Witch Weed (Striga asiatica)
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Global Invasive Species Database - Striga asiatica (herb)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Keys and Fact Sheets: Striga asiatica (Red Witchweed)
East African Network for Taxonomy.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Striga asiatica
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Witchweed: A Parasitic Pest (Jan 2011; PDF | 37 KB)
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
See also: USDA-APHIS Publications for more resources

PLANTS Database - Asiatic Witchweed
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

International Government

Weeds in Australia - Witchweeds (Striga spp.)
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.

NSW WeedWise: Witchweed
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).

Invasive Plants: Prohibited Invasive Plants - Witchweed
Queensland Business and Industry Portal (Australia).

State Government

Encycloweedia: Data Sheet - Witchweed
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
See also: Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources


You Ain't From Around Here! Exotic Invasive of the Quarter: Witchweed (2011; PDF | 205 KB)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program.
See also: Publications - Exotic Invasives for more fact sheets


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Striga asiatica. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Spallek, T., J.M. Mutuku, and K. Shirasu. 2013. The genus Striga: A witch profile. Molecular Plant Pathology 14(9):861-869.

Werth, C.R., J.L. Riopel, and N.W. Gillespie. 1984. Genetic uniformity in an introduced population of witchweed (Striga asiatica) in the United States. Weed Science 32:645-648.

Back to Top
Last Modified: Apr 13, 2018
Bookmark and Share
I Want To
    Read Recent News Articles
    Find Management Plans
    Locate Images
    Find Experts

More ...

    Species Profiles
    Discussion Groups
    Economic Impacts
    Educational Resources
    Image Galleries
    Frequently Asked Questions
    What You Can Do
Media Help
 To view PDF files, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® installed on your computer.

To view multimedia files, you must have Adobe® Flash® installed on your computer.

 NISIC Home | NAL Home | USDA | AgNIC | Agricultural Research Service | Web Policies and Important Links | Site Map
FOIA | Accessibility Statement| Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement | Information Quality | USA.gov | White House