G.534. Cenchrus L. - Starburs

BECKEROPSIS Fig. & De Not.

PENNISETUM Rich.

Chemisquy, M.A., Giussani, L.M., Scataglini, M.A., Kellogg, E.A. & Morrone, O. (2010) Phylogenetic studies favour the unification of Pennisetum, Cenchrus and Odontelytrum (Poaceae): a combined nuclear, plastid and morphological analysis, and nomenclatural combinations in Cenchrus Annals of Botany 106 107-130

Description of the genus

Annuals or perennials. Inflorescence a cylindric, spike-like panicle, bearing deciduous clusters of 1-several spikelets subtended by an involucre of bristles, these flexuous or spiny, filiform and free to the base or ± flattened and united below. Spikelets: lower glume up to 1/2 length of spikelet, sometimes 0; upper glume and lower lemma as spikelet or a little shorter; upper lemma chartaceous to thinly coriaceous with flat thin margins.

Derivation of name: From cenchros, the Greek word for millet

Comment: We have followed Chemisquy et al. (2010) in including Pennisetum within Cenchrus, on the grounds that Pennisetum, Cenchrus (and Odontelytrum) form a monophyletic group and that morphological differences, such as whether the bristles subtending the spikelets are free or partially fused, do not effectively separate the genera.

Worldwide: 30 species in warm and dry regions of America, Africa and India

Zambia: 11 taxa.

The larvae of the following species of insect eat species of this genus:
Borbo fatuellus (Long-horned swift)
No image yet

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsProvincesContent
americanus (L.) MorroneEWImage
biflorus Roxb.B,C,SN,S,WImage
ciliaris L.SImage
geniculatus Thunb.NN
macrourus (Trin.) MorroneB,N,SN
pedicellatus (Trin.) Morrone SS
polystachios (L.) Morrone subsp. atrichus (Stapf & C.E. Hubb.) MorroneB,N,W,CLp,Lk,WDescription
polystachios (L.) Morrone subsp. polystachios N,W,C,ENw,C
purpureus (Schumach.) MorroneN,W,C,E,SNw,Lk,SDescription, Image
setaceus (Forssk.) MorroneC,SLk,SDescription, Image
unisetus (Nees) MorroneN,W,C,ECb,N,E,Lk

Other sources of information about Cenchrus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cenchrus
Flora of Caprivi: Cenchrus
Flora of Malawi: Cenchrus
Flora of Mozambique: Cenchrus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cenchrus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cenchrus

External websites:

ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cenchrus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cenchrus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Cenchrus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cenchrus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cenchrus
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Cenchrus

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-19

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2019). Flora of Zambia: Genus page: Cenchrus.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=212, retrieved 22 April 2019

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