Cenchrus echinatus

Scientific nameCenchrus echinatus
English: buffel grass, bur grass, field sandbur, hedgehog grass, Mossman river grass
Indonesia: rumput daratan
Philippines: agingay, madiyong-madiyong, sagisi, rukut-dukut
Thailand: yaa son krachap, ya-bung
Viet Nam: co echin
Short-lived, tufted grass with often branched stems (culms) (25–60 cm tall), hairless nodes, roots occasionally produced at the lowest joints.
Leaves: Green, sheath (tubular structure that clasps stem) partially encloses stem, usually hairless but sometimes with a few hairs, reddish or purplish on young plants and lower stems; blades are linear (5–25 cm long and 3–12 mm wide), narrowing to a point, some hairs along margins.
Flowers: Inflorescence is a panicle or ‘flowering spike’ (3–10 cm long and 1–1.3 cm wide).
Fruits: Burr-like structures in inflorescence (4–10 mm long), each with many sharp spines (2–5 mm long), reddish or purplish-green when young turning straw-coloured or dark brown; ‘burs’ contain seeds which are brown and have a flattened tip.
Mexico and southern USA
Accidentally as a contaminant
Roadsides, disturbed areas, fallow land, crops, managed pasture, gardens, grassland and sandy soils along the coast.
Can readily establish large monocultures to the detriment of native plant species and the organisms that depend on them. On Laysan Island, Hawaii, it displaced the native bunchgrass, Eragrostis variabilis (Gaudich) Steud., and in so doing, reduced important breeding sites for two endemic, endangered land birds, the Laysan finch [Telespiza cantans (Wilson)], and the Laysan duck [Anas laysanensis Rothschild], as well as several species of indigenous seabirds and terrestrial arthropods (Flint and Rehkemper, 2002). The burs are apparently also dangerous for hatchlings of seabirds on the Northwestern Islands (Motooka et al., 2003). Burs in animal feed can also reduce their acceptability and palatability. Buffel grass is also a serious agricultural weed of orchards, vineyards, coffee, vegetables, bananas and coconuts. Crops competing for nutrients with C. echinatus typically have smaller leaf areas and lower growth rates and yields (Hammerton, 1981; Everaarts, 1993; Ramos and Pitelli, 1994). C. echinatus is also an alternative host for maize streak monogeminivirus and sugarcane streak monogeminivirus (Brunt et al., 1996).
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 8 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/13/2019 20:53