Balili

Family • Poaceae / Gramineae - Panicum stagninum Retz. - CREEPING PADDY WEED

Scientific names

Panicum stagninum Retz.
Panicum crus-galli var. stagninum (Retz.) Ridl.
Panicum crus-galli var. stagninum (Retz.) T. Durand & Schinz
Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.
Echinochloa stagnina (Retz.) P. Beauv.
Oplismenus stagninus (Retz.) Kunth
Orthopogon stagninus (Retz.) Spreng.

Common names

Balili (Tag.)
Banago (Sub.)
Lagtomna-pula (Bik.)
Timsim (Tag.)
Uraroi (Bik.)
Creeping paddy weed (Engl.)
Hippo grass (Engl.)
Long-awn water grass (Engl.)

balili

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Echinochloa crus-galli – (L.)P.Beauv. / Plants For A Future

(2) Off-farm fodder sources in agroforestry / Livestock and Poultry Production (IIRR, 1992)

balili2

Botany
Balili is a coarse, erect, aquatic or subaquatic grass in habit, 1 to 1.5 meters high, the lower parts decumbent and rooting at the nodes. Stems are 6 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Leaves are 20 to 40 centimeters long and 8 to 13 millimeters wide. Panicles are about 20 centimeters long or less. Spikes are green or purple, distinctly longer than the internodes, spreading or ascending, about 1. 5 centimeters long, nearly 1centimeter thick. Spikelets are in pairs in two rows, nearly 5 millimeters long, the empty glumes hispid on the nerves, the third glume with a long or short awn.

Distribution
– Found throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces, growing in open shallow water and in low, wet places, swamps, and borders of lakes and streams, at low and medium altitudes.
– Also occurs from India to Africa and Malaya.

Constituents
– Contains saccharose, 10%; reducing sugar, 7%; and emulsin.
– Study of chemical composition reported: Dry matter 19.3, crude protein 1.3, ether extract 0.4, crude fiber 6.5, and ash 2.3.

Properties
Considered styptic and tonic.

Parts used
Roots, shoots.

Uses 
Edibility
– Leaves and seeds.
– Seeds are cooked. As millet, it can be cooked whole or ground as flour.
– Young shoots, stem tips and heart of culm can be eaten, raw or cooked.
– Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.

Folkloric
– Decoction of pith used as diuretic.
– Elsewhere, used as folk remedy for treating carbuncles, hemorrhages, sores, cancer and wounds.
– Shoots and roots used as styptic to wounds.

Others
– Fodder: Considered palatable and providing stamina to horses.

Toxicity
Livestock: Plant reported to accumulate high nitrate levels in its tissues, especially when plants are exposed to inorganic fertilizers.

Availability
Wild-crafted.