1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Cenchrus L.
      1. Cenchrus mezianus (Leeke) Morrone

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to S. Africa.

    [GB]
    Habit
    Perennial. Rhizomes short; knotty. Culms decumbent; 30-120 cm long; wiry, or woody. Lateral branches suffrutescent. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Leaf-sheath oral hairs lacking. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades flat, or conduplicate, or involute; 2-15 cm long; 1-5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle smooth. Panicle spiciform; oblong, or ovate; 1-3(-5) cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; scaberulous; glabrous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 4-10 mm long; base obconical, or bluntly stipitate (briefly). Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with an outer whorl of thinner bristles; with longest bristle scarcely emergent; 4-10 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; dorsally compressed; 3-4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; dorsally compressed; 3-4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
    Glume
    Glumes similar; reaching apex of florets, or shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 0.33-0.5 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1-3 -veined. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume elliptic; 0.66-1 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 5-7 -veined. Upper glume apex acute, or acuminate.
    Florets
    Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5 -veined; acute, or acuminate. Fertile lemma elliptic; 3-4.5 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acuminate; mucronate. Palea membranous.
    Flowers
    Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 1.5-2 mm long; anther tip smooth. Styles free to the base, or connate below.
    Fruits
    Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; oblong; dorsally compressed; 1.5 mm long.
    Distribution
    Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, and south. Asia-tropical: India.
    Reference
    Paniceae. FTEA.
    [FTEA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

    Habit
    Shrubby perennial from a short woody rhizome; culms 30–120 cm. high, much branched, wiry or woody, ascending from a prostrate base.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades flat, folded or rolled, 2–15 cm. long, 1–5 mm. wide, glabrous; sheaths glabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle ovate to oblong, 1–3(–5) cm. long, very dense, the culm perfectly smooth below the panicle; rhachis with angular ribs below the closely spaced scars, scaberulous; involucre enclosing 1 sessile spikelet, the base obconical or with a very short oblong stipe; bristles glabrous, the longest 4–10 mm., usually in two whorls.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets oblong, 3–4.5 mm. long; lower lemma 1/3–1/2, the upper 2/3 to as long as the spikelet; lemmas similar in texture, acute to subulate, the lower ♂ or barren.
    Habitat
    Open deciduous bushland and semi-desert grassland, often in overgrazed places; occurs on a wide range of soil types, but prefers plains with impeded drainage, particularly black clays; 0–2100 m.
    Distribution
    K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 U1

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

    Introduced into:

    India

    Cenchrus mezianus (Leeke) Morrone appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Oct 27, 2008 Crawford, F. [190], Namibia Pennisetum mezianum K000450392
    Kassner [584], Kenya Pennisetum mezianum K000281224 isotype
    Pearson, H.H.W. [8556], Namibia Pennisetum mezianum K000281269
    Uhlig [1076], Tanzania Pennisetum mezianum K000281223 isosyntype

    First published in Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 106: 128 (2010)

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Karthikeyan, S., Jain, S.K., Nayar, M.P. & Sanjappa, M. (1989). Florae Indicae Enumeratio: Monocotyledonae: 1-435. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A. (1982). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 3: 451-898.

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0