Genus:
Cenchrus L.

Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone

This species is accepted, and its native range is Sahara to Tropical Africa, Aldabra, Arabian Peninsula. It is used as animal food, a medicine and invertebrate food, has environmental uses and social uses and for fuel and food.

[UPFC]
Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean, Guiana Shield, Caribbean, Orinoquia, Pacific. Elevation range: 0–3000 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Naturalised in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caldas, Casanare, Cauca, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Huila, Meta, Nariño, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vichada.
Habit
Herb.
Conservation
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, native grassland, artificial - terrestrial.

[CPLC]

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
Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 3000 m.; Andes, Guayana y Serranía de La Macarena, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Robust perennial, often forming bamboo-like clumps; culms 1–6 m. high or more.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades up to 120 cm. long, 4 cm. wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle linear, 7–30 cm. long; rhachis cylindrical, with or without short peduncle-stumps, pubescent; involucre enclosing 1–5 spikelets, one of them sessile and hermaphrodite, the others shortly pedicelled and ♂ (but scarcely different in appearance); bristles glabrous or obscurely ciliate, the longest 10–40 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets lanceolate, 4.5–7 mm. long, glabrous; lower glume 0; upper glume 1/4–1/2 the length of the spikelet, rarely 0; lower lemma 2/3 to as long as the spikelet (rarely less), ♂ or barren, membranous, acuminate; upper lemma subcoriaceous and shining in the lower half, acuminate; anther tips bearing a tiny tuft of hairs (very rarely glabrous).
Figures
Fig. 156.
Habitat
Riverine sites, valley bottoms and forest margins, with a preference for rich soils; widely cultivated for fodder under the names “Elephant” and “Napier” grass; 0–2500 m.
Distribution
K4 K5 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 U1 U2 U3 tropical Africaintroduced to most other tropical countries

[FWTA]

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

Morphology General Habit
A robust perennial up to 8 m. high and 2.5 cm. diam. at the base
Ecology
Commonly occurs near the banks of streams.

[GB]
Morphology General Habit
Perennial. Stolons present. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending; robust; 100-600 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs; 3-5 mm long. Leaf-blades 30-120 cm long; 20-40 mm wide. Leaf-blade margins cartilaginous; scaberulous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle pubescent above. Panicle spiciform; linear; 7-30 cm long; 1-3 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis, or with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis terete; pubescent; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 0-4 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 8-16 mm long; base obtuse. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 10-40 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous, or ciliate.
Sterile
Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4.5-7 mm long; as long as fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; exserted from glumes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4.5-7 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4.5-7 mm long; as long as fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; exserted from glumes.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4.5-7 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes both absent or obscure, or one the lower absent or obscure; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Upper glume lanceolate, or ovate; 0.75-3 mm long; 0.25-0.5 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 0-1 -veined. Upper glume primary vein absent, or distinct. Upper glume apex obtuse, or acute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 0.66-1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; (1-)2-5(-7) -veined; acute, or acuminate. Fertile lemma lanceolate; 5-7 mm long; coriaceous; shiny; without keel; 5-7 -veined. Lemma margins flat; eciliate. Lemma apex acuminate. Palea coriaceous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 2-3.1 mm long; anther tip penicillate. Styles connate below.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; ellipsoid, or ovoid; dorsally compressed; concealed by floret; 1.8-2.2 mm long.
Distribution
Africa: Macaronesia, west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: Arabia, China, and eastern Asia. Asia-tropical: India, Indo-China, Malesia, and Papuasia. Australasia: Australia and New Zealand. Pacific: southwestern, south-central, northwestern, and north-central. North America: southeast USA and Mexico. South America: Mesoamericana, Caribbean, northern South America, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.
Reference
Paniceae. FTEA.

[FZ]

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

Morphology General Habit
Robust perennial, often forming bamboo-like clumps.
Morphology Culms
Culms 1–6 m. high.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Leaf laminae up to 120 cm. long and 4 cm. wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicle 7–30 cm. long, linear; rhachis cylindrical, with or without short peduncle stumps, pubescent; involucre enclosing 1–5 spikelets, one of them sessile and bisexual, the others shortly pedicelled and male (but scarcely different in appearance); bristles glabrous or obscurely ciliate, the longest 10–40 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 4.5–7 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Inferior glume suppressed, the superior 1/4–1/2 length of spikelet or rarely suppressed.
Inferior
Inferior glume suppressed, the superior 1/4–1/2 length of spikelet or rarely suppressed. Inferior lemma 2/3 to as long as spikelet (rarely less).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Lemma
Inferior lemma 2/3 to as long as spikelet (rarely less). Superior lemma subcoriaceous and shining in the inferior half.
Superior
Superior lemma subcoriaceous and shining in the inferior half.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anther tips bearing a tiny tuft of hairs (very rarely glabrous).

[UPFC]
Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Fuel
Used for fuels.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Invertebrate Food
Used as invertebrate food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Social
Social uses.

Doubtfully present in:

Saudi Arabia

Native to:

Aldabra, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Alabama, Andaman Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Florida, French Guiana, Galápagos, Gilbert Is., Guatemala, Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Jawa, Kazan-retto, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Madagascar, Madeira, Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Marshall Is., Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Morocco, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand North, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niue, Norfolk Is., Northern Provinces, Ogasawara-shoto, Palestine, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rodrigues, Réunion, Samoa, Society Is., Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Texas, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Tubuai Is., Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., West Himalaya, Windward Is.

Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Zollinger, H. [2367] Pennisetum macrostachyum K000290601 isotype Yes
Jun 1, 2004 Gosline, G. [282], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000746240 No
Jun 1, 2001 Etuge, M. [4487], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000107927 No
Jun 1, 2001 Cable, S. [894], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000107887 No
Feb 1, 1996 Patterson, C. [6], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000107946 No
Jan 1, 1996 Marsden, J. [27], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000731226 No
Jan 1, 1994 Thomas, D.W. [9899], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000510853 No
Jan 1, 1994 Cheek, M. [5208], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000510856 No
Jan 1, 1993 Casas, F. [11465], Equatorial Guinea Pennisetum purpureum K000731232 No
Jan 1, 1993 Carvalho [4539], Equatorial Guinea Pennisetum purpureum K000731233 No
Jan 1, 1981 Friis, I. [170], Sudan Pennisetum purpureum K000731236 No
Jan 19, 1977 Lowe, J. [2956], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000731227 No
Oct 1, 1962 Brunt, M. [592], Cameroon Pennisetum purpureum K000731228 No
Oct 1, 1931 Brown [836], Ghana Pennisetum purpureum K000281313 Yes
Gossweiler, J. [5896], Angola Pennisetum purpureum K000281292 holotype Yes
Vogel, Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000281312 syntype Yes
Vogel, Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000281311 syntype Yes
Vogel, Equatorial Guinea Pennisetum purpureum K000281310 syntype Yes
Chipp. [1011], Ghana Pennisetum purpureum K000281314 Yes
Smitinand, T. [6124], Thailand Pennisetum purpureum K000688365 No
Folli, D.A. [2619], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106086 Yes
Paciornik, E.F. [32], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106088 Yes
Irwin, H.S. [14139], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106089 Yes
Imaguire, N. [3358], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106090 Yes
Eiten, G. [2899], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106094 Yes
Hatschbach, G. [15856], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106095 Yes
Pilz, G.E. [2628], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731218 No
Brummitt, R.K. [10553], Malawi Pennisetum purpureum K000731244 No
Aslte, W.L. [2131], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731251 No
Hepper, F.N. [1852], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731225 No
Wild, H. [2656], Mozambique Pennisetum purpureum K000731239 No
Blair Rains, A. [204], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731219 No
Ward, J.F. [48], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731223 No
Wild, H. [3367], Zimbabwe Pennisetum purpureum K000731253 No
Harrison, M.N. [489], Sudan Pennisetum purpureum K000731237 No
Hepper, F.N. [1323], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731229 No
Crook, A.O. [P68], Zimbabwe Pennisetum purpureum K000731254 No
Richards, H.M. [9416], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731248 No
Gutzwiller [773], Congo Pennisetum purpureum K000731231 No
Eiten, G. [7391], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106091 Yes
Robinson, E.A. [601], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731250 No
Saadou, M. [2372], Niger Pennisetum purpureum K000731213 No
Van der Ben, D. [586], Congo Pennisetum purpureum K000731234 No
Gilliland, H.B. [189], Zimbabwe Pennisetum purpureum K000731255 No
Banda, E.A. [3341], Malawi Pennisetum purpureum K000731240 No
Sorensen, Th. [2633], Thailand Pennisetum purpureum K000688366 No
Strang, H.E. [189], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106096 Yes
Mitchell, B.L. [2627], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731249 No
Baldwin, J.T. Jr. [10145], Liberia Pennisetum purpureum K000731217 No
Smith, P.P. [972], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731252 No
Deighton, F.C. [3272], Sierra Leone Pennisetum purpureum K000731216 No
Latilo [FHI66276], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731220 No
Kivu, L. [679], Congo Pennisetum purpureum K000731235 No
De Witte [3977], Congo Pennisetum purpureum K000731230 No
FNH [8005], Côte d'Ivoire Pennisetum purpureum K000731215 No
Lawlor, D.W. [625], Nigeria Pennisetum purpureum K000731222 No
Phiri, R. [62], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731246 No
Irwin, H.S. [5748], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106093 Yes
Jackson, J.K. [358], Sudan Pennisetum purpureum K000731238 No
de Lemos, F. [23], Mozambique Pennisetum purpureum K000731243 No
Lawesson, J.E. [5427], Senegal Pennisetum purpureum K000731210 No
Strid, A. [2460], Zambia Pennisetum purpureum K000731247 No
Saadou, M. [2273], Niger Pennisetum purpureum K000731214 No
Yeates [250/89], Mali Pennisetum purpureum K000731211 No
Salubeni, A.J. [1958], Malawi Pennisetum purpureum K000731245 No
Salubeni, A.J. [3885], Malawi Pennisetum purpureum K000731241 No
Smith, S. [2936], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106087 Yes
Brass, L.J. [17100], Malawi Pennisetum purpureum K000731242 No
Lowe, J. [4309], Brazil Pennisetum purpureum K001106092 Yes
Gwynne [1107B], Seychelles Pennisetum purpureum K000731256 No

First published in Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 106: 129 (2010)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00997-6. Scientific Data 8: 215.
  • Middleton, D.J. & al. (eds.) (2019). Flora of Singapore 7: 1-525. Singapore Botanic Gardens.

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  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon. Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Sykes, W.R. (2016). Flora of the Cook Islands: 1-973. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii.
  • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso. Boissiera 65: 1-391.
  • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1988). Flora du Rwanda 4: I-X, 1-651. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
  • Walker, E.H. (1976). Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu islands: 1-1159. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2006). Poaceae. Flora of China 22: 1-733. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.

Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R., & Celis, M. (eds.). (2020). Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia. v1.1. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Dataset/Checklist. https://doi.org/10.15472/7avdhn
  • Cámara-Leret, R., & Dennehy, Z. (2019). Information gaps in indigenous and local knowledge for science-policy assessments. Nature Sustainability 2:736-741.
  • Diazgranados et al. (2021). Catalogue of plants of Colombia. Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia project. In prep.
  • Diazgranados, M., Allkin, B., Black N., Cámara-Leret, R., Canteiro C., Carretero J., Eastwood R., Hargreaves S., Hudson A., Milliken W., Nesbitt, M., Ondo, I., Patmore, K., Pironon, S., Turner, R., Ulian, T. (2020). World Checklist of Useful Plant Species. Produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity.
  • FPI (2021). Food Plants International. https://fms.cmsvr.com/fmi/webd/Food_Plants_World?homeurl=https://foodplantsinternational.com/plants/
  • GBIF.org (2021). GBIF species matching tool. https://www.gbif.org/tools/species-lookup
  • IUCN (2021). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-2. https://www.iucnredlist.org.
  • Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) v.10 (2021); http://mpns.kew.org/
  • Willis, K.J. (ed.) (2017). State of the World’s Plants 2017. Report. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

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  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at http://colplanta.org
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  • Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora Zambesiaca
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  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
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    Flora of West Tropical Africa
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  • GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora

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  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

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  • Kew Science Photographs

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