witchweed, noun

The small, red-flowering weed Striga asiatica of the Scrophulariaceae, a destructive parasite which attacks the roots of maize and other grasses; isona; Matabele flower, see Matabele sense 2; rooiblom.
1904 Times (U.K.) 25 July 12Complaints..were constantly being received..of damage done..to the mealie..crop by..rooi-bloom or witchweed.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 513Witchweed,..The vernacular name is commonly used in Natal, and is derived from the original Zulu ‘Isona’, meaning the little red flower that bewitches the mealies.
1975 M.R. Levyns in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. XI. 470Witchweed,..The parasite attaches itself to the roots of its host by means of suckers and weakens it.
The small, red-flowering weed Striga asiatica of the Scrophulariaceae, a destructive parasite which attacks the roots of maize and other grasses; isona; Matabele flower, see Matabele2; rooiblom.
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