G.534. Cenchrus L. - Starburs



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

Zimbabwe: 4 cultivated taxa.

Insects associated with this genus:
Borbo fatuellus (Long-horned swift) Larval foodplant
No image of a cultivated species but there is an image of a native or naturalised species

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

americanus (L.) MorroneDescription, Image
clandestinus (Hochst. ex Chiov.) MorroneDescription, Image
purpureus (Schumach.) MorroneDescription, Image
setaceus (Forssk.) MorroneDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Cenchrus:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cenchrus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cenchrus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cenchrus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cenchrus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cenchrus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cenchrus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cenchrus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cenchrus
Plants of the World Online: Cenchrus
Tropicos: Cenchrus
Wikipedia: Cenchrus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: genus page: Cenchrus.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/genus.php?genus_id=212, retrieved 23 June 2024

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