Cenchrus ciliaris L. – buffelgrass - Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent, Sicily; naturalized in parts of North + South America, Southeast Asia, various islands; considered noxious weed in some places
Grass Family (Poaceae). Mat sandbur is a native, warm season annual and at times, short lived perennial. The height ranges 8 to 24 inches. The leaf blade is 2 to 6 inches long and flat. The leaf sheath is flattened and hairy along margins. The stem is erect or grows along ground. The seedhead is a raceme with 6 to 20 spiny burs covered with fine hair, each enclosing 2 spikelets, and often topped by leaves.
Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Annuals, Terrestr ial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes solid or spongy, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Leaf blades scabrous, roughened, or wrinkled, Ligule present, Ligule a fringed, ciliate, or lobed membrane, Ligule a fringe of hairs, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence a contracted panicle, narrowly paniculate, branches appressed or ascending, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets dorsally compressed or terete, Spikelet 3-10 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets with 2 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets 1-4 in short bristly fascicles, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating below the glumes, Spikelets falling with parts of disarticulating rachis or pedicel, Spikelets in bur-like clusters or fascicles with fused bracts, bristles or spines, Spikelet bristles fused together, Spikelets all subtended by bristles, Spikelet bristles 4-many, Spikelet bracts or bristles disarticulating with spikelet, Spikelets in dense head-like clusters, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Pistillate spikelet enclosed in hard bony involucre, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma , Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glume equal to or longer than spikelet, Glumes 1 nerved, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma coriaceous, firmer or thicker in texture than the glumes, Lemma 3 nerved, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex truncate, rounded, or obtuse, Lemma awnless, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Stamens 3, Styles 1, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.