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Witchweed -
Scientific Name:
Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze (ITIS)
Striga lutea Lour. (ITIS)
Common Name:
Witchweed, Asiatic witchweed, red witchweed
Witchweed, parasitic plants - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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)
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

Distribution/Maps/Survey Status


Federally Regulated

  • 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

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Witchweed.


USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
East African Network for Taxonomy.
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Federal Government

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
See also: USDA-APHIS Publications for more resources
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

International Government

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.

State and Local Government

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


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program.
See also: Publications - Exotic Invasives for more fact sheets

Clemson University. Regulatory Services.