Two species of Echinochloa are grown as cereals. Echinochloa crusgalli is native to temperate Eurasia and was domesticated in Japan some 4,000 yr ago. Echinochloa colona is widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics of the Old World. It was domesticated in India. Echinochloa colona is morphologically allied to E. crusgalli, but hybrids between them are sterile. Echinochloa colona differs consistently from E. crusgalli in having smaller spikelets with membran-aceous rather than chartaceous glumes. Hybrids between wild and cultivated taxa of E. colona and between those of E. crusgalli are fertile. Cultivated E. colona is variable. It is grown as a cereal across India, Kashmir and Sikkim. Four morphological races are recognized, although these do not have geographical, ecological or ethnological unity. Race laxa is confined to Sikkim where races robusta, intermedia and stolonifera are also grown. In India, races robusta, intermedia and stolonifera are often grown as mixtures, and Echinochloa is sometimes grown as a mixture with other cereals, particularly Setaria italica (foxtail millet) or Eleusine coracana (finger millet). The species is planted on poor soil, and some cultivars mature in less than 2 mo. They hold considerable promise as cereals for the semiarid tropics.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Clayton, W. D. 1972. Gramineae.In Flora of West Tropical Africa, F. N. Hepper, ed. 3: 349–574.
de Wet, J. M. J. 1977. Domestication of African cereals. African Econ. Hist, (spring) no. 3: 15–32.
Dixon, D.M. 1969. A note on cereals in ancient Egypt.In The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals, J. P. Ucko and C. W. Dimbley, ed. Aldine, Chicago.
Fischer, C. E. C. 1934. Gramineae.In Flora of the Presidency of Madras, J. S. Gamble, ed. 10: 1690’1864.
Hitchcock, A. S. 1950. Manual of the Grasses of the United States. 2nd ed, revised by Agnes Chase. USDA Misc. Publ. 200.
Hjelmqvist, H. 1969. Dinkel und Hirse aus der Bronzezeit Sudschwedens nebst einigen Bemerkungen uber ihre spatere Geschichte in Schweden. Bot. Not. 122: 260–270.
Kajale, M.D. 1977. Ancient grains from excavations at Nevasa, Maharashtra. Geophytology 7: 98–106.
Nie, N.H., C. H. Hull, J. G. Jenkins, K. Steinbrenner, and D. H. Bent. 1975. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Rozhevits, R. Yu. 1934. Grasses-Gramineae Juss.In Flora of the U.S.S.R. Vol. 2, V. L. Komorov, ed, p. 1–622. Translated from Russian (1963). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
—. 1937. Grasses. An Introduction to the Study of Fodder and Cereal Grasses. Translated from Russian (1980). Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre, New Delhi.
Stuhlmann, F. 1909. Beitrage zur Kulturgeschichte von Ostafrica. D. Reimer (E. Voshen), Berlin.
Tisserant, R.P. Ch. 1953. L’agriculture dans les savanes de l’Oubangui. Bull. Inst. Etudes Centrafr. 5: 209–274.
Vickery, J. W. 1975. Gramineae.In Flora of New South Wales, M. D. Tindale, ed, New South Wales Dept. Agric. Publ. 19: 125’306.
Vishnu-Mittre. 1977. Changing economy in ancient India.In Origins of Agriculture, C. A. Reed, ed. Mouton, The Hague.
Watanabe, N. 1970. A spodographic analysis of millet from prehistoric Japan. Fac. Sci. Univ. Tokyo, Sec. 5, 3: 357–379.
Wiegand, K.M. 1921. The genusEchinochloa in North America. Rhodora 23: 49–65.
Yabuno, T. 1962. Cytotaxonomic studies on the two cultivated species and the wild relatives in the genusEchinochloa. Cytologia 27: 296–305.
—. 1966. Biosystematic study of the genusEchinochloa (Gramineae). Jap. J. Bot. 19: 277–323.
About this article
Cite this article
de Wet, J.M.J., Prasada Rao, K.E., Mengesha, M.H. et al. Domestication of mawa millet (Echinochloa colona). Econ Bot 37, 283–291 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02858883
- Discriminant Function
- Economic Botany
- Flag Leaf
- Finger Millet
- Foxtail Millet