Digitaria sanguinalis (hairy crabgrass, purple crabgrass, crab finger grass, hairy finger grass, summer grass)

description: summer annual

place of origin: Eurasia, North Africa

urban habitat: commonly found in waste areas, disturbed habitats, lawns, cultivated landscapes, in pavement openings, median strips, along roadsides.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted pioneer species; food and habitat for wildlife and livestock.

history: Digitaria sanguinalis was introduced into North America in 1849 to use as a forage crop and is currently widely found in temperate and tropical regions throughout the world. Its seeds are edible, used as a grain in some European countries and ground into flour. It is said to be high in protein and other nutrients. D. sanguinalis has been used medicinally for treatment of eye ailments and venereal disease and its leaves can be used for papermaking.