Science Student: See Types of Weeds in Nigeria and Their Uses

In this article we will tell you about types of weeds in Nigeria, their uses and other interesting facts about them. We can see weeds everywhere. These are the wild plants that grow in different parts of the world and are used as agricultural land. And some of them can grow in tropical regions.

Let’s look through what would we use weeds plants for:

  • for the benefit of plants and microbes giving them nutrient and water;
  • for breaking up soil compaction and hard-pan as well as combat erosion;
  • plants increase the level of organic substances during their growing and dying;
  • they can also be as an indicator of nutritional balance of the soil, farmers can determine this due to growth pattern and general condition;
  • it serves as grazing animals feed.

Types of weeds in Nigeria

And we will now tell you about types of weeds and their botanical name. Let’s start!

Elephant grass

Botanical name – Pennisetum purpureum

It’s also called Uganda grass or Napier grass. As this weeds were adapted to tropical lands, it has small requirements in water and nutritive components. It was used for grazing animals in the old days. Now Elephant grass serves as “fighter” against pest. The grass is planted next to cultivated plants.

Elephant grass helps to protect maize from the moths. It’s also useful because of its properties to protect the soil from erosion. It improves the soil productivity. Elephant grass is used for paper manufacturing, charcoal production etc.

Carpet grass

Botanical name – Axonopus compressus)

It’s a coarse-leaved plant. Generally, the best conditions for Carpet grass is a wet soil, differently from the other types of weeds plants. In addition, this plant is not very shade-resistant. The grass is the best for fighting erosion. Another characteristic of Carpet grass is its property to grow in low fertility soils.

It’s also used for grazing animals feed. The interesting fact is that Carpet grass can crowd out other types of weeds. Sometimes it’s used for decoration in parks, airports and so on.

African Club Moss

Botanical name – Selaginella kraussiana (or just Selaginella)

The homeland of this plant is tropical and Southern Africa. It’s a not very big plant with long roots. This type of weeds can grow in different conditions: resistant to cold, hot weather or deep shade. Interestingly, that the grass doesn’t need a moisture. In addition, it’s generally found on wet soil and looks very well.

African Feather Grass

Botanical name – Cenchrus macrourus

It’s also called bedding or veld grass. This is a perennial plant that has deep fibrous roots. Moreover, the grass has beautiful tough and ribbed leaves. Their top is light green and the underneath has dark green color.

The specific structure of African Feather Grass stems cause skin irritation when touching. The plant can grow on any type of the soil and resistant to hot, cold, rainy or windy weather. It’s good for grazing animal feed.

African Olive

Botanical name – Olea europeaea

It refers to the family Oleaceae or the Olive family. The plant appeared in Europe but then has begun to grow in Africa. It’s a dense brush or small tree that has scaly stems and rough bark. This plant can make a lot of long-lived seeds.

It’s commonly found in shrubland or empty lands, increasingly in coastal areas.

Buffalo grass

Botanical name – Stenotaphrum secundatum

The plant refers to Gramineae or grass family. The homeland of Buffalo grass is Africa and Tropical America. It’s a tight, rough and perennial plant that has thick, long and red stolons. Some types of grass that are like buffalo grass: Pennisetum clandestinum, Axonopus affinis and Paspalum distichum.

The plant is also resistant to hot and cold weather, drought and so on. It will grow in windy and rainy conditions. However, it is intolerant to shade.

Buffalo grass is commonly found in shrubland, empty lands, coastal areas. From this plant you can get uniform attractive turf and use it in grazing or on a farm.

Here’s 3 types of weeds that are useful for your health

Bahama grass

Botanical name – Cynodan dactylon

The homeland of this plant is Europe but it grows in some African locations too, including Nigeria. It’s widely used for different purposes. For example, there was a time when it was used for treatment of diabetes constipation. Some people practice it to this day.

If you want to try it, just take the next steps: wash it carefully and chop. Then you can grind it in your mixer. Get the juice from it and finally drink it on an empty stomach a couple of hours before you have breakfast.

In addition, this plant contains such useful components as calcium, fiber, phosphorus and so on. It’s quite useful for grazing animals.

Wild sunflower

Botanical name – Aspilia Africana

It’s a subvariety of flowering plants related to the Asteraceae family. It appeared in Latin America. Nowadays we can meet in some locations of Africa.

These weeds are also used for different purposes and have a lot of benefits. It reminds plantain due to its properties to stop bleeding and treat fresh wounds. If you have some injuries, Wild sunflower will help to heal it.

Some people treat rheumatism or even heal scorpions and bee stings.

Billygoat-Weed (White-Weed)

Botanical name – Ageratum conyzoides

It originates from Tropical America – mostly Brazil. It’s called invasive weed in many locations. Its height is about 0.5–1 m. White-Weed has oval leaves with 2-6 cm in length and white or mauve flowers.

These weeds are anti-inflammatory and antiallergic. It also has analgesic and antibacterial effect. Some people note that it helps for diarrhea treatment.

These are types of weeds names that are commonly found in Nigeria. So, knowing their benefits and uses you can apply them for that purposes you need. Use weeds for improvement of soil structural properties, protection against pests, as fertilizer with own hands and even for medicinal purposes. These types of weeds with pictures in our article will help you to distinguish them better.


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