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Edible uses


Seed - cooked. Used as a millet, the seed can be cooked whole or ground and used as a flour[1]. It is used in cakes, puddings, porridge etc[2][3][4][5][1]. The flour makes a very fair unleavened bread if it is first soaked overnight in water[3]. It is often used in making fermented foods[1]. Finger millet is the main food grain for many peoples, especially in dry areas of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka[6][7]. The grain is higher in protein, fat and minerals than rice, corn, or sorghum[6]. When consumed as food it provides a sustaining diet, especially for people doing hard work[6]. The grain may also be malted and a flour of the malted grain used as a nourishing food for infants and invalids[6]. Finger millet is considered an especially wholesome food for diabetics[6]. The seed is about 2mm in diameter[3]. A nutritional analysis is available[8]. Seed yield is about 5 Tonnes per hectare[6]. Ragi grain possesses excellent storage properties and is said to improve in quality with storage. Seed can be stored without damage for as long as 50 years[6]. They are highly valued as a reserve food in times of famine. Yield depends on variety and is directly related to duration, height and tillering capacity of type grown. Types with straight spikes give better yields than those with curved spikes[6].

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Eleusine coracana.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The seed is astringent, tonic and cooling[9]. It is used in the treatment of fevers, biliousness and hepatitis[8][9]. The leaf juice has been given to women in childbirth, and the plant is reported to be diaphoretic, diuretic, and vermifuge[6]. The plant is a folk remedy for treating leprosy, liver disease, measles, pleurisy, pneumonia, and small pox[6].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


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Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts[10][11]. The seed can also be sown in mid to late spring in situ[11], though if the summer is cool it might not ripen its seed[K].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Eleusine coracana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


An easily grown plant, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in a sunny position[11]. Tolerates moderately moist conditions[12]. Finger millet is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 29 to 429cm, an annual temperature range of 11.1 to 27.4°C and a pH in the range of 5.0 to 8.2[6]. Typically a tropical crop, one of the best suited for dry farming, generally grown rainfed. It thrives under a medium rainfall, on porous soils that do not get waterlogged. With rainfall of 53-75 cm, it is cultivated rainfed; with less, it is irrigated[6]. Finger millet is very adaptable and thrives at higher elevations than most other tropical cereals[6]. Cultivated on soils ranging from rich loams to poor shallow upland soils. In India, grown on black cotton soils, but thrives on red lateritic loams. Ragi stands salinity better than most cereals[6].

Finger millet is much cultivated in tropical countries for its edible seed[2][3][10]. Over 20 varieties of ragi are cultivated in India[1][6]. The numerous races under cultivation are primarily divided into purple and green types; those with straight or open spikes, encurved or closed spikes, or branched spikes; length of earheads (5-10 cm long); colour of seeds (deep brown to shade of orange-red to almost white or black); dwarf in habit (45 cm tall) to up to 1.3 m tall; poor tillering to profuse tillering; early or late maturing; suitable for growing under irrigation to growing in dry areas. Many named cultivars are involved in breeding trials in India. Most improvement is sought in increasing yields, resistance to lodging, even maturity and loose panicle[6]. The plant requires a good summer if it is to do well in Britain[K], though in warmer climes it is heavy yielding, even on poor soils[12][5]. Plants are seldom troubled by insect pests[13][5]. The seed stores well[5].

Plants are mainly self-fertile[6].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Eleusine coracana. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Eleusine coracana.




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Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Eleusine coracana
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Salinity
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  3. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  5. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  6. ? Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
  8. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  9. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Grounds. R. Ornamental Grasses. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-1219-9 (1989-00-00)
  11. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
  13. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)

Facts about "Eleusine coracana"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyGramineae +
Belongs to genusEleusine +
Has binomial nameEleusine coracana +
Has common nameFinger Millet +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partSeed +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceSalinity +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile + and Wind +
Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
Has hardiness zone9 +
Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
Has mature height0.3 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAstringent +, Febrifuge + and Tonic +
Has salinity toleranceTolerant +
Has search nameeleusine coracana + and finger millet +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameEleusine coracana +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Eleusine coracana +, Eleusine coracana +, Eleusine coracana + and Eleusine coracana +