1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Cenchrus L.
      1. Cenchrus sphacelatus (Nees) Morrone

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to S. Africa, Comoros, Réunion.

    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Densely tufted perennial; culms 30–150 cm. high, erect, pubescent to villous below the panicle.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades convolute, 10–35 cm. long, 2–4 mm. wide, hard, prominently nerved.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle linear, 4–12 cm. long, dense; rhachis cylindrical, with rounded ribs and very short almost accrescent peduncle-stumps, scaberulous to pubescent; involucre enclosing 1 sessile spikelet, minutely conical at the base; bristles glabrous to weakly plumose, short, the longest 4–14 mm.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets lanceolate, 2.5–4.5 mm. long, acute to acuminate; lower glume 1/8–1/2, the upper glume (1/8)1/3–2/3(–3/4) as long as the spikelet; lower lemma barren, A to as long as the spikelet (rarely 2/3 as long in South Africa), acute to aristate-acuminate; upper lemma similar to the lower.
    Habitat
    Upland grassland and glades in upland evergreen forest, often indicative of overgrazed sites; 1500–3100 m.
    Distribution
    K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 T2 T4 T5 T7
    [FZ]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton. Flora Zambesiaca 10:3. 1989

    Habit
    Densely tufted perennial.
    Culms
    Culms 30–150 cm. high, erect, mostly pubescent to villous below the panicle.
    Leaf lamina
    Leaf laminae 2–4 mm. wide, convolute, hard, prominently nerved.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle 4–12 cm. long, linear; rhachis cylindrical with rounded ribs and very short almost accrescent peduncle stumps, scaberulous to pubescent; involucre enclosing 1 sessile spikelet, the base slightly rounded; bristles glabrous to weakly plumose, the longest 4–15 mm.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets 2.5–4.5 mm. long.
    Glume
    Inferior glume 1/8–1/2, the superior (1/8)1/3–2/3(3/4) length of spikelet.
    Lemma
    Inferior lemma 4/5 to as long as spikelet (rarely 2/3 as long in South Africa), tapering gradually to an acute, acuminate or caudate tip. Superior lemma firmly membranous, similar to the inferior.
    Inferior
    Inferior lemma 4/5 to as long as spikelet (rarely 2/3 as long in South Africa), tapering gradually to an acute, acuminate or caudate tip. Inferior glume 1/8–1/2, the superior (1/8)1/3–2/3(3/4) length of spikelet.
    Superior
    Superior lemma firmly membranous, similar to the inferior.
    [GB]
    Habit
    Perennial; caespitose. Culms erect; 30-150 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades convolute; 10-35 cm long; 2-4 mm wide; coriaceous; stiff.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle pubescent above, or pilose above. Panicle spiciform; linear; 4-12 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis with rounded ribs; smooth; glabrous, or pubescent; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 4-14 mm long; base obconical. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with longest bristle scarcely emergent; 4-14 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous, or plumose.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; cuspidate, or acuminate; 2.5-4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; cuspidate, or acuminate; 2.5-4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
    Glume
    Glumes dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, or elliptic; 0.1-0.5 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0-1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse, or acute. Upper glume elliptic, or ovate; (0.15-)0.33-0.66(-0.75) length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1-3 -veined. Upper glume apex acute, or acuminate.
    Florets
    Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 0.8-1 length of spikelet; membranous; 3-5 -veined; scaberulous; rough above; acute, or setaceously attenuate. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2.5-4.5 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute, or acuminate; mucronate. Palea membranous.
    Flowers
    Lodicules 2. Anthers 3; 2-2.5 mm long; anther tip smooth. Styles free to the base.
    Distribution
    Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south.
    Reference
    Paniceae. FTEA.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cape Provinces, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Free State, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Malawi, Northern Provinces, Réunion, Swaziland, Tanzania

    Cenchrus sphacelatus (Nees) Morrone appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Schimper [287], Ethiopia Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281143 isosyntype
    Schimper [287], Ethiopia Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281141 isosyntype
    Schimper [287], Ethiopia Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281142 isosyntype
    Quartin-Dillon [180], Ethiopia Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281140 isosyntype
    Buchanan, J. [249], South Africa Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281264 Unknown type material
    Drège, South Africa Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281265 isosyntype
    Drège, South Africa Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281263 isosyntype
    Rehmann, A. [4490], South Africa Pennisetum sphacelatum K000281266 isotype

    First published in Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 106: 129 (2010)

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Bosser, J. & Renvoize, S.A. (2018). Flore des Mascareignes 203: 1-276. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
    • 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.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A. (1982). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 3: 451-898.
    • Voeltzkow, A. (1917). Flora und Fauna der Comoren: 428-480.

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    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