Page author: Don Knoke
Cenchrus longispinus
longspine sandbur, mat sandbur

Distribution: Eastern Washington, south to Mexico, east to much of the United States.

Habitat: Sandy river banks.

Flowers: July - September

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Prostrate, widely matted annual, the culms solid.


Sheaths open, keeled, glabrous; ligules 1-1.5 mm. long with a fringe of hairs 2-4 times as long as the basal membrane; blades flat or folded, 2-6 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a crowded raceme of 5-10 spiny burs; spikelets 2-flowered, usually 2 per bur, 5-6 mm. long, tightly enclosed within and deciduous with the burs; lower flower sterile, upper flower perfect; burs finely pubescent, the spines numerous, flattened, 4-6 mm. in diameter; glumes narrow, shorter than the lemmas.

Accepted Name:
Cenchrus longispinus (Hack.) Fernald
Publication: Rhodora 45(538): 388. 1943.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Cenchrus carolinianus Walter
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cenchrus longispinus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Cenchrus longispinus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Cenchrus longispinus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Cenchrus longispinus photos.

USDA Plants: Cenchrus longispinus information.

23 photographs:
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