Cenchrus ciliaris L.

First published in Mant. Pl. 2: 302 (1771)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Sicilia, S. Greece, Africa, Arabian Peninsula to Indian Subcontinent. It is a perennial or rhizomatous geophyte and grows primarily in the subtropical biome. It is used as animal food, a poison and a medicine, has environmental uses and for food.

Descriptions

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Naturalizada y adventicia en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 1000 m.; Andes, Llanura del Caribe, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba
Conservation
No Evaluada
[CPLC]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Perennial, often forming mats or tussocks; stems up to 150 cm high, wiry or somewhat woody; leaves flat, 2–13 mm wide
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle 2–14 cm long; involucre elongate, 6–16 mm long; inner bristles much exceeding the spikelets, one of them longer and stouter than the rest, united only at the base to form a disc 0.5–1.5 mm in diam. (or sometimes connate for up to 0.5 mm above its rim), sparsely to densely ciliate below, filiform above, flexuous, antrorsely scaberulous; outer bristles filiform
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 1–4 per burr, 2–5.5 mm long.
Distribution
N1–3; C1, 2; S1–3 throughout Africa, extending through South-west Asia to India, widely introduced elsewhere in the Old World.
Ecology
Altitude range 0–1650 m.
Vernacular
Agar loak, anodug, arapsor, balhorle, garrow, gudomad, gurde agar, harfo, irdug (Somali).
[FSOM]

Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

Morphology General Habit
Perennial, often forming mats or tussocks; culms 10–150 cm., ascending, wiry or sometimes almost woody.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades 3–25 cm. long, 2–13 mm. wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle cylindrical to ovoid, 2–14 cm. long, 10–26 mm. wide, grey, purple or straw-coloured, the rhachis angular and puberulous; involucre elongate, 6–16 mm. long; inner bristles much exceeding the spikelets, one of them longer and stouter than the rest, at least the longest somewhat flattened at the base, connate only at the base to form a disc 0.5–1.5 mm. in diameter (or sometimes connate for up to 0.5 mm. above the disc’s rim), sparsely or densely ciliate below, grooved on the face or not, filiform above, flexuous, often wavy, antrorsely scaberulous; outer bristles filiform.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 1–4 per burr, 2–5.5 mm. long, acutely lanceolate; glumes distinct, acute, the lower from 1/4–1/2, the upper from 1/2 to as long as the spikelet.
Habitat
A common grass on a wide variety of soil types in deciduous bushland and wooded grassland; 0–2000 m.
Distribution
throughout Africa, extending through Arabia and the Middle East to Indiawidely introduced elsewhere in the Old World. K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7
[FTEA]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
pasto bufel
[UNAL]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/13490705/13490709

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

Gramineae, W. D. Clayton. Flora Zambesiaca 10:3. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Perennial, often forming mats or tussocks.
Morphology Culms
Culms 10–150 cm. high, ascending, wiry or sometimes almost woody.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle 2–14 cm. long, cylindrical to ovoid, grey, purple or straw-coloured; involucre 6–16 mm. long, connate only at the base to form a disk 0.5–1.5 mm. in diam.; inner bristles flexuous, often wavy, sparsely to densely ciliate below, filiform above, one of them longer and stouter than the rest, this at least somewhat flattened towards the base; outer bristles filiform.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 1–4 per bur, 2–5.5 mm. long, acutely lanceolate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes distinct, acute, the inferior from 1/4–1/2, the superior from 1/2 to as long as spikelet.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Lemma
Superior lemma chartaceous.
Superior
Superior lemma chartaceous.
[FZ]

Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean, Caribbean. Elevation range: 0–1000 m a.s.l. Naturalised in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Cesar, Cundinamarca, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca.
Habit
Herb.
Conservation
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.
[UPFC]

Gramineae, W. D. Clayton. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

Morphology General Habit
Perennial, culms ascending, up to about 1 in. high
Ecology
Indigenous in the drier areas, but probably introduced in the south where it occurs on rubbish tips, roadsides, etc.
[FWTA]

Morphology General Habit
Perennial; caespitose. Rhizomes short. Butt sheaths distinctly ribbed; sparsely hairy, or pubescent, or pilose. Basal innovations extravaginal. Culms geniculately ascending; 10-50 cm long; 1-4 mm diam.; wiry. Lateral branches sparse. Leaves basal and cauline. Leaf-sheaths loose; open for most of their length; with flat margins; 5-8.5 cm long; mostly shorter than adjacent culm internode; keeled; striately veined; scaberulous; glabrous on surface, or pilose; outer margin glabrous, or hairy. Leaf-sheath oral hairs scanty, or ciliate. Ligule a fringe of hairs; 0.2-2 mm long. Collar glabrous. Leaf-blades 3-25 cm long; 4-10 mm wide. Leaf-blade midrib conspicuous; prominent beneath. Leaf-blade venation distinct. Leaf-blade surface ribbed; scaberulous; glabrous, or pilose; sparsely hairy; hairy on both sides (or glabrous); with tubercle-based hairs (at times). Leaf-blade margins unthickened; eglandular; glabrous, or ciliate. Leaf-blade apex acuminate; hardened.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle spiciform; linear to oblong; 2-14 cm long; 1-2.6 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; puberulous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1-4 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; connate into a disc below (0.5-1mm diam); with 0.2-0.3(-0.5) mm connate; 6-12 mm long; base obconical. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with an outer whorl of thinner bristles; inner bristles longer than outer; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 8-16 mm long; flattened (at least base of longest bristle); without grooves, or grooved on the face; flexible (often wavy); antrorsely scaberulous; ciliate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; acute; 2-5.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; acute; 2-5.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes similar; subequal in width; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 0.2-0.5 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; 0.4-1 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 1-3 -veined. Upper glume apex acute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret ovate; 1 length of fertile lemma; membranous; 5 -veined; acute; mucronate. Fertile lemma ovate; dorsally compressed; lanceolate in profile; 2-5.5 mm long; chartaceous; pallid; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins covering most of palea. Lemma apex acute; mucronate. Palea ovate; 1 length of lemma; chartaceous; 2 -veined. Palea apex acute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Lodicules 2; cuneate; fleshy. Anthers 3; 1.5 mm long. Stigmas 2; protogynous; terminally exserted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis obovoid; dorsally compressed; 1-1.3 mm long; dark brown; glabrous; truncate, or obtuse; apex unappendaged.
Distribution
Europe: southeastern. Africa: north, Macaronesia, west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: western Asia, Arabia, and eastern Asia. Asia-tropical: India, Indo-China, Malesia, and Papuasia. Australasia: Australia. Pacific: southwestern, south-central, northwestern, and north-central. North America: Mexico. South America: Mesoamericana, Caribbean, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.
Reference
Paniceae. VJN 1993.
[GB]

Morphology General Habit
Perennial. Rhizomes short. Culms geniculately ascending; 40-60 cm long; swollen at the base. Culm-internodes smooth; distally glabrous. Leaf-sheaths keeled; pilose. Ligule a fringe of hairs; 0.5 mm long. Leaf-blades 25-35 cm long; 4-5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous; hirsute; sparsely hairy. Leaf-blade margins smooth, or scaberulous. Leaf-blade apex acute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle spiciform; linear; 3-8 cm long; 0.7-1.2 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; scaberulous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 3 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; connate into a disc below; with 1 mm connate; 6-7 mm long. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; with an outer whorl of thinner bristles; inner bristles longer than outer; with longest bristle scarcely emergent, or with one conspicuously longer bristle; 5-8 mm long; flattened; rigid; antrorsely scaberulous; glabrous; spinose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets ovate; dorsally compressed; acuminate; 4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets ovate; dorsally compressed; acuminate; 4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes one the lower absent or obscure; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Upper glume ovate; 1.8-2 mm long; 0.4-0.5 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume surface puberulous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Basal sterile florets male; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5 -veined; puberulous; hairy above; acuminate. Fertile lemma ovate; 4.5 mm long; coriaceous; much thinner on margins; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acuminate; pubescent. Palea coriaceous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Anthers 3; 2.5 mm long; yellow.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; ovoid; dorsally compressed; 2.5 mm long.
Distribution
Africa: western Indian ocean.
Reference
Paniceae. Camus 2007.
[GB]

Uses

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Poisons
Poisons.
[UPFC]

Common Names

English
African foxtail, Blue buffalo grass, Buffalo grass, Foxtail buffalo grass, Pearl millet

Sources

  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora

    • Clayton, W.D., Vorontsova, M.S., Harman, K.T. and Williamson, H. (2006 onwards). GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora.
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Plants and People Africa

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    • © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0