Common name: Nodeweed, Cinderella weed, Pig grass, Synedrella
Nodeweed is a very commonly seen wild plant in India, found on roadsides, hillsides, vacant plots, open areas and almost anywhere. They are a native of South and Central America, but is now seen everywhere in the world, especially in warm countries.
Characterized by its small yellow flowers, Nodeweeds grow to a height of 70-80 cms. It’s a short-lived plant with a green stem, that is slightly woody towards the base.
Leaves have thin white hairs, and is about 5-10 cms long and 3-5 cms wide, with the petiole having small wings. Petioles are the stalks that connect the leaves to the stem. Nodeweed leaves have prominent veins and lightly wavy edges.
Flowers are formed in the axils, the angle formed between the leaf and the stem. They have yellow ray florets towards the outer edges, and pale yellow disk florets towards the center. Both ray and disk florets form into seeds that are about 1-2 cms in length. A single plant produces hundreds and seeds, ensuring quick germination.
Nodeweeds thrive in moist soil and good sunlight, spreading to new areas very quickly. Hence it is considered an invasive weed in most parts of the world. They are a nuisance in agricultural land, where the rapidly growing nodeweeds are capable of choking seedlings of other crops.
Hand weeding is the best way to remove these hardy little plants. Seeds are dispersed by wind, water and animals; and they are capable of staying dormant in the soil for several months until ideal conditions for germination arise.
The plants have a few beneficial uses as cattle fodder, and also in treatment of rheumatism. But since the nuisance far outweighs the uses of this plant, most countries have declared it a noxious weed.
Propagation is through seeds.