FoI
Finger Millet   
Foto info
Finger Millet
A Nntroduced Herb
Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Finger Millet, African Millet, Coracan, Natcheny, Ragi • Assamese: মৰুবা ধান maruba dhan • Bengali: marwa • Gujarati: બાવટો bavato, નાચણી nachni, નાગલી nagali • Hindi: मंडुआ mandua, मंडवा mandwa, मड़ुआ marua, मड़ुवा maruwa, रागी ragi • Kannada: ರಾಗಿ ragi • Konkani: नांचणी nanchani • Malayalam: രാഗി ragi • Marathi: नाचणी nachani, नागली nagali • Punjabi: ਮੰਦਲ mandal, ਮੰਢੁਲ mandhul, ਮੁੰਡਲ mundal • Rajasthani: रागी ragi • Nepali: मड़ुवा maruwa • Oriya: mandia • Sanskrit: मधुलिका madhulika, मट्टकम् mattakam, नृत्यकुण्डलक nrutyakundala • Tamil: ஆரியம் aariyam, இராகி iraki, கேழ்வரகு kel-varaku, கேப்பை keppai • Telugu: రాగి ragi, తమిదలు tamidalu • Urdu: منڐوا mandwa, مڙوا maruwa, راگی ragi
Botanical name: Eleusine coracana    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Cynosurus coracanus, Eleusine africana, Eleusine tocussa

Finger millet is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Finger millet is originally native to the Ethiopian Highlands and was introduced into India approximately 4000 years ago. It is very adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalaya up to 2,300 m altitude. Stems (culms) are erect, laterally flattened, 0.6-1.2 m tall or long, profusely tillering, in addition to branches sent out at the rounded nodes in succession. Plants are often prostrate. Root system is fibrous and remarkably strong, permeating soil thoroughly. Inflorescence is a whorl of 2-8 (normally 4-6), digitate, straight, or slightly curved spikes 12.5-15 cm long, about 1.3 cm broad. Spikelets are about 70, arranged alternately on rachis, each containing 4-7 seeds, varying from 1-2 mm in diameter. Caryopsis is nearly globose to somewhat flattened, smooth or tugose, reddish-brown to nearly white or black.
Identification credit: Ryan Brookes
Photographed at Yeoor Hills, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Maharashtra.