Cenchrus is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family.[3][6] Its species are native to many countries in Asia, Africa, Australia, the Americas, and various oceanic islands.[7][8]

Cenchrus longispinus.jpg
Cenchrus longispinus[4]
Cenchrus echinatus burr4 (6923220592).jpg
Cenchrus echinatus burr
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Supertribe: Panicodae
Tribe: Paniceae
Subtribe: Cenchrinae
Genus: Cenchrus
Type species
Cenchrus echinatus[2][3]
  • Cenchropsis Nash
  • Echinaria Fabr. 1759, rejected name not Desf. 1799
  • Nastus Lunell 1915, illegitimate homonym not Juss. 1789
  • Raram Adans.
  • Runcina Allamand
  • Odontelytrum Hack.
  • Pseudochaetochloa Hitchc.

Common names include buffelgrasses, sandburs, and sand spur “sticky bur”. Such names allude to the sharp, spine-covered burrs characterizing the inflorescences of the members of the genus.[9]

Some botanists include the genus within the related genus Pennisetum.

  • Cenchrus abyssinicus (Hack.) Morrone - Ethiopia, Tanzania, Yemen, Limpopo, Mpumalanga
  • Cenchrus agrimonioides Trin.kāmanomano - Hawaiian Islands
  • Cenchrus arnhemicus (F.Muell.) Morrone - Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory)
  • Cenchrus biflorus Roxb.kram-kram - Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar
  • Cenchrus brevisetosus (B.K.Simon) B.K.Simon - Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland)
  • Cenchrus brownii Roem. & Schult. - North + South America, West Indies
  • Cenchrus caliculatus Cav. - Australia, New Zealand, assorted islands in Pacific + Indian Oceans
  • Cenchrus ciliaris L. – buffelgrass - Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent, Sicily; naturalized as a nutritious arid land pasture in parts of North and South America, Australia,[13] Southeast Asia, various islands; considered noxious weed in some places
  • Cenchrus distichophyllus - Cuba
  • Cenchrus echinatus L. – common sandbur - North + South America, West Indies; naturalized in parts of Africa, southern Asia, various islands
  • Cenchrus elegans Veldkamp - Malesia
  • Cenchrus elymoides - Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland)
  • Cenchrus gracillimus Nash - West Indies, southeastern USA
  • Cenchrus longispinus (Hack.) Fern. – mat sandbur - Canada, USA, Mexico
  • Cenchrus mitis Andersson - Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique
  • Cenchrus multiflorus J.Presl - Mexico, Central America
  • Cenchrus myosuroides Kunth - North + South America, West Indies
  • Cenchrus palmeri Vasey - Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, Arizona
  • Cenchrus pennisetiformis Steud. - Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent
  • Cenchrus pilosus Kunth - from central Mexico to northern Chile
  • Cenchrus platyacanthus Andersson - Galápagos
  • Cenchrus prieurii - Sahara, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar
  • Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone – Africa, Oman
  • Cenchrus robustus - Queensland, New South Wales
  • Cenchrus setaceus – tender fountain grass, crimson fountaingrass – northern Africa, southwestern Asia; naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, scattered places in Europe and the Americas
  • Cenchrus setiger Vahl - Sahara, East Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Andaman & Nicobar
  • Cenchrus somalensis - Somalia
  • Cenchrus spinifex Cav. – coastal sandbur - North + South America, West Indies
  • Cenchrus tribuloides L. – sanddune sandbur - North + South America, West Indies
Formerly included[5]

Several species are now considered better suited to other genera: Anthephora, Centotheca, Dactyloctenium, Echinaria, Echinolaena, Hackelochloa, Hilaria, Pennisetum, Phragmites, Scleria, Setaria, Trachys, Tragus, Tribolium.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Cenchrus L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1999-03-09. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
  2. ^ lectotype designated by Green, Prop. Brit. Bot.: 193 (1929)
  3. ^ a b Tropicos, Cenchrus L.
  4. ^ Line drawing of Cenchrus longispinus from the USDA PLANTS Database. Source: http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=ceca6_001_avd.tif Original source: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 167.
  5. ^ a b c "Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families".
  6. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 1049-1050 in Latin
  7. ^ Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 552 蒺藜草属 ji li cao shu Cenchrus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1049. 1753.
  8. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Cenchrus includes photos and range maps for several species
  9. ^ "What is a Sandspur anyway?". shelkey.org. 2008-10-20. Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  10. ^ "Cenchrus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
  11. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Cenchrus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
  12. ^ The Plant List search for Cenchrus
  13. ^ Henry DR Pasture plants of Southern Inland Queensland. DPI. 1995
  • Culbert, D. (2003-10-19). "Sticky Sandspur". UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Service.

External linksEdit