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Pakistan | Family List | Poaceae | Cenchrus

Cenchrus pennisetiformis Hochst. & Steud. ex Steud., Syn. Pl. Glum. 1:109. 1854. Boiss., Fl. Or 5:448. 1884; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:58. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 289. 1960; Bor in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 70:505. 1970.

Vern.: Dhaman, Sitti.

  • Cenchrus echinoides Wight ex Steud.
  • Pennisetum cenchroides var. echinoides Hook. f.

    Annual or short-lived perennial; culms 10-40 cm high, ascending. Leaf-blades 2-20 cm long, 2-5 mm wide. Panicle 2-6 cm long; involucre elongate, 6-16 mm long; inner bristles greatly exceeding the spikelets, one of them longer and stouter than the rest, flattened at the base, connate for 1-2.5 mm above the basal disc to form a cup, almost glabrous to sparsely ciliate below, grooved on the face or not, filiform above, flexuous, often wavy, antrorsely scaberulous; outer bristles filiform. Spikelets 1-3 per burr, 3-5 mm long.

    Fl. & Fr. Per.: February-April and again August-October.

    Types: Arabia, Schimper 973 (K), Schimper 974 (P).

    Distribution: Pakistan (Sind & Baluchistan); tropical East Africa through Arabia to India; introduced to Australia.

    The boundary between Cenchrus pennisetiformis and Cenchrus ciliaris is very indistinct. Apart from their cupuliform inflorescence, plants of Cenchrus pennisetiformis are of smaller stature, usually annual, and favour sub-desert conditions.

    Cenchrus pennisetiformis is an extremely valuable fodder grass as it remains green during the dry season. Cattle are very fond of it.


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