Black buffel grass Cenchrus ciliaris, copyright Harry Rose.

Belongs within: Paniceae.

Cenchrus, the buffel grasses, is a genus of tropical and subtropical grasses with spikelets surrounded by a burr-like involucre (Gardner 1952).

Characters (from Gardner 1952): Annuals or perennials; leaf-blade flat and flaccid, or short and rigidly convolute; ligule membranous, ciliate or reduced to fringe of hairs; involucres arranged in simple terminal spikes or racemes. Spikelets usually narrow, 1–5 enclosed in an involucre, falling entire with involucre; involucre peduncled, consisting of several series of slender or flattened bristles hardened and connate at base, one usually longer than others. Florets sometimes 2; upper bisexual; lower, when present, male. Glumes muticous, unequal; lower often minute; upper equalling or slightly shorter than spikelet. Lemmas 2; lower equalling or more often exceeding upper lemma, sometimes subtending a male floret. Paleas 2, similar to their respective lemmas. Stamens 3. Styles connate at base; stigma plumose. Grain free, included in slightly hardened lemma and palea.

    |--C. australisB78
    |--C. biflorusLK14
    |--C. calyculatus [incl. C. anomoplexis]C06
    |--C. ciliaris [=Pennisetum ciliare; incl. P. cenchroides]G52
    |--C. echinatusLK14
    |--C. incertus [incl. C. pauciflorus]V72
    |--C. inflexusB78
    |--C. longispinusKM08
    |--C. myosuroidesS06
    |--C. pennisetiformisPP07
    |--C. setigerusG52
    `--C. tribuloidesRN72
         |--C. t. var. tribuloidesS06
         `--C. t. var. macrocephalusS06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B78] Bentham, G. 1878. Flora Australiensis: A description of the plants of the Australian Territory vol. 7. Roxburghiaceae to Filices. L. Reeve & Co.: London.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[G52] Gardner, C. A. 1952. Flora of Western Australia vol. 1 pt 1. Gramineae. William H. Wyatt: Perth.

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P., & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 15–78.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 1. London, Blandford Press.

[S06] Stuckert, T. 1906. Segunda contribución al conocimiento de las gramináceas Argentinas. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 409–555.

[V72] Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium.

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