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Phalaris minor (gehunsa) major weed of the wheat fields

Phalaris minor (gehunsa) major weed of the wheat fields

Among monocot weeds Phalaris minor (gehunsa) is the major weed in most of the wheat fields. In certain localities, the intensity of this weed is so high that it has become rather impossible to grow wheat crops. This weed belongs to family gramineae. On an average, each plant of this weed produces 10000 to 30000 seeds. It merges with the germination of wheat and resembles wheat seedlings to a large extent. Therefore, it is very difficult to recognize this weed in its initial stage. There are a few distinguishing features by which Phalaris minor can be differentiated from wheat plant in the field,

 Distinguishing characters of wheat and Phalaris minor


Phalaris minor



Basal node remains pink in colour upto 50 days  of plant growth

Basal node in greenish yellow


Ligule is approximately three times larger than that of wheat with no auricle.

Ligule is very small and is formed with  two leaf ears (auricles) which in most cases are hairy.


Leaf colour is light green

Leaf colour is dark green depending on variety


Tillering is rossete type

It grows erect


Tillers branch

Tillers do not branch


Produces 10000-30000 seeds per plant

Produces 60-70 seeds per plant


Test weight is 2g

Test weight is about 40g


Seeds are dark brown, oval in shape, and much smaller than wheat.

Seeds are red or amber in colour , hard and of bigger size.

 Phalaris minor is rhizomatus and both rhizomes and leaf sheaths are red in colour owing to the presence of anthocyanin pigment.

To control Phalaris minor spray Tribunil or Dosonex or Isoproturon @ 2 kgjha in 400-600 litres of water 32-35 days after sowing. Spray of Dosonex and Isoproturon will also control wild oat if it is present in wheat field.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.