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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Panicoideae
Tribus: Paniceae
Subtribus: Cenchrinae
Genus: Cenchrus
Species: (112 sensu Simon (2013)
C. abyssinicus – C. advena – C. agrimonioides – C. americanus – C. annuus – C. arnhemicus – C. articularis – C. bambusiformis – C. basedowii – C. bevisetosus – C. biflorus – C. brownii – C. caliculatus – C. caninus – C. chilensis – C. ciliaris – C. clandestinus – C. complanatus – C. compressus – C. crinitus – C. distachyus – C. distichophyllus – C. domingensis – C. durus – C. echinatus – C. elymoides – C. flaccidus – C. flexilis – C. foermeranus – C. gracillimus – C. henryanus – C. hohenackeri – C. hordeoides – C. intectus – C. lanatus – C. latifolius – C. longisetus – C. longispinus – C. macrourus – C. massaicus – C. melanostachyus – C. mezianus – C. mildbraedii – C. mitis – C. monostigma – C. multiflorus – C. myosuroides – C. occidentalis – C. orientalis – C. palmeri – C. pauperus – C. pedicellatus – C. pennisetiformis – C. peruvianus – C. petiolaris – C. pilcomayensis – C. pilosus – C. platyacanthus – C. polystachios – C. prieurii – C. procerus – C. prolificus – C. purpureus – C. qianningensis – C. ramosus – C. rigidus – C. riparius – C. robustus – C. rupestris – C. sagittatus – C. setaceus – C. setiger – C. shaanxiensis – C. sichuanensis – C. somalensis – C. spacelatus – C. spinifex – C. squamulatus – C. stramineus – C. tempisquensis – C. thulinii – C. thunbergii – C. trachyphyllus – C. tribuloides – C. trisetus – C. unisetus – C. violaceus – C. weberbaueri – C. articulare – C. baojiense – C. beckeroides – C. caffrum – C. centrasiaticum – C. divisum – C. glaucifolium – C. gracilescens – C. henryanum – C. humile – C. laxior – C. ledermannii – C. longissimus – C. longistylum – C. montanum – C. nervosum – C. nodiflorum – C. nubicum – C. pirottae – C. pseudotriticoides – C. pumilum – C. schweinfurthii – C. sieberianum – C. tristachyum – C. uliginosum – C. yemense

Cenchrus L., Sp. Pl.: 1049 (1753)
Type species: Cenchrus echinatus L., Sp. Pl.: 1050 (1753)


Echinaria Heist. ex Fabr., Enum.: 206 (1759), nom. rej.
Raram Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 35, 597 (1763), nom. superfl.
Runcina Allamand, Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 4: 94 (1770).
Odontelytrum Hack., Oesterr. Bot. Z. 48: 86 (1898).
Cenchropsis Nash in J.K.Small, Fl. S.E. U.S.: 109 (1903).
Pseudochaetochloa Hitchc., J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 14: 492 (1924).
Pennisetum link should remain until the species have been fully updated

The circumscription above based partly upon Chemisquay (et al.) (2013) has yet to be fully accepted by all authorities. However their evidence also confirms that the traditional subgenera and sectiones are redundant, but no work has been undertaken on their replacement.

Linneaus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 1049.
Chemisquy, M.A., Giussani, L.M., Scataglini, M.A., Kellogg, E.A. & Morrone, O. 2010. Phylogenetic studies favour the unification of Pennisetum, Cenchrus and Odontelytrum (Poaceae): a combined nuclear, plastid and morphological analysis, and nomenclatural combinations in Cenchrus. Annals of Botany, 106(1): 107–130. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcq090 Full text PDF Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Cenchrus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Oct. 31. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Cenchrus. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Oct. 31. 2013. Cenchrus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Oct. 31.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Cenchrus. Published online. Accessed: 31 Oct. 2013.



Vernacular names
English: Sandburs
suomi: Harjasheinät

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]

Common names include buffelgrasses, sandburs, and sand spur. 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 now considered better suited to other genera: Anthephora Centotheca Dactyloctenium Echinaria Echinolaena Hackelochloa Hilaria Pennisetum Phragmites Scleria Setaria Trachys Tragus Tribolium
See also

List of Poaceae genera


"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.
lectotype designated by Green, Prop. Brit. Bot.: 193 (1929)
Tropicos, Cenchrus L.
Line drawing of Cenchrus longispinus from the USDA PLANTS Database. Source: Original source: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 167.
"Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families".
Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 1049-1050 in Latin
Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 552 蒺藜草属 ji li cao shu Cenchrus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1049. 1753.
Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Cenchrus includes photos and range maps for several species
"What is a Sandspur anyway?". 2008-10-20. Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
"Cenchrus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
"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.
The Plant List search for Cenchrus

Henry DR Pasture plants of Southern Inland Queensland. DPI. 1995

Culbert, D. (2003-10-19). "Sticky Sandspur". UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Service.

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