Cenchrus unisetus (Nees) Morrone

First published in Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 106: 130 (2010)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tropical & S. Africa, Arabian Peninsula. It is a perennial and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.

Descriptions

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/110680857/110680860

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

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

Morphology General Habit
Perennial.
Morphology Culms
Culms 0.6–4 m. high, typically robust and 2–15 mm. in diam. at the base.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Leaf laminae (5)10–30 cm. wide, broadly linear to linear-lanceolate, often falsely petiolate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicles 2–4 cm. long, slender, axillary and gathered into a copious false inflorescence; rhachis with rounded ribs and distinct peduncle stumps, minutely pubescent; involucre reduced to a single bristle subtending each spikelet; bristle (2.5)7–40 mm. long, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 2–3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes 0.2–0.5 mm. long, obtuse to emarginate, or rarely the superior up to 0.8 mm. long and subacute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Lemma
Lemmas as long as spikelet, membranous.
[FZ]

Morphology General Habit
Perennial; caespitose. Culms erect; robust; 60-400 cm long; 2-15 mm diam. Ligule a ciliate membrane. Collar glabrous, or bearded. Leaf-blade base without a false petiole, or with a false petiole. Leaf-blades linear to lanceolate; 20-60 cm long; (5-)10-30 mm wide; flaccid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Synflorescence compound; paniculate. Inflorescence a panicle; terminal and axillary. Panicle spiciform; linear; 2-4 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis puberulous. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; base obtuse. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; in one whorl; 1 in principal whorl; (2.5-)7-40 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic; dorsally compressed; acute; 2-3 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus pubescent; base truncate.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic; dorsally compressed; acute; 2-3 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus pubescent; base truncate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblate; 0.2-0.5 mm long; 0.1 length of spikelet; hyaline; pallid; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex emarginate, or truncate, or obtuse. Upper glume ovate; 0.2-0.5(-0.8) mm long; 0.1-0.2 length of spikelet; hyaline; pallid; without keels; 0 -veined. Upper glume primary vein absent. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume apex emarginate, or truncate, or obtuse.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5 -veined; scabrous; acute. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2-3 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface scaberulous. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex obtuse.
Distribution
Africa: west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south. Asia-temperate: Arabia. Asia-tropical: Papuasia.
Reference
Paniceae. FTEA.
[GB]

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

Morphology General Habit
Tufted perennial; culms typically robust, 0.6–4 m. high, 2–15 mm. diameter at base.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades broadly linear to linear-lanceolate, mostly 20–60 cm. long, (5–)10–30 mm. wide, often falsely petiolate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicles numerous, axillary, slender, 2–4 cm. long, gathered into a copious leafy false panicle; rhachis with rounded ribs and distinct peduncle-stumps, minutely pubescent; involucre reduced to a single bristle beneath each spikelet; bristle glabrous, (2.5–)7–40 mm. long, often purplish.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets narrowly elliptic, 2–3 mm. long; glumes 0.2–0.5 mm. long, truncate, emarginate or obtuse, rarely the upper subacute and up to 0.8 mm.; lemmas as long as the spikelet, membranous, scaberulous, the lower barren.
Habitat
In deciduous bushland and wooded grassland, favouring moist or shady places; 300–2300 m.
Distribution
K1 K3 K5 T1 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 U1 U2 U3 U4 tropical and South AfricaYemen
[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Tufted perennial; stems robust, 0.6–4 m high, 2–15 mm in diameter at the base, rarely smaller and mat-forming; leaves broadly linear to linear-lanceolate, often falsely petiolate; ligule a line of hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicles numerous, axillary, slender, 2–4 cm long, gathered into a copious false panicle; rhachis with rounded ribs and distinct peduncle-stumps, minutely pubescent; involucre reduced to a single bristle below each spikelet; bristle glabrous, 2.5–9(–40) mm long, often purplish
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets narrowly elliptic, 2–3 mm long; glumes 0.2–0.5 mm long, truncate, emarginate or obtuse, rarely the upper subacute and up to 0.8 mm long; lemmas as long as the spikelet, membranous, scaberulous, the lower barren.
Distribution
N2 tropical and South Africa; Arabia
Ecology
Altitude c. 1500 m.
[FSOM]

Sources

  • 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
  • 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 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 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 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0