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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1049. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of 22 species in tropical and warm temperate regions, mainly in Africa and America; 5 species occur in Pakistan.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Cenchrus is distinguished from Pennisetum by the transformation of the involucral bristles into a spiny cup. The tendency is barely recognisable in Cenchrus ciliaris, whose membership of the genus is justified by its intergradation with Cenchrus pennisetiformis.


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Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades flat or involute; ligule a line of hairs. Inflorescence a cylindrical spike-like panicle with an angular rhachis, each spikelet or cluster of spikelets enclosed by a deciduous involucre; involucre composed of 1 or more whorls of bristles, these ± flattened and often spiny, connate at the base for some distance along their length. Spikelets .lanceolate to ovate, dorsally compressed, acute to acuminate; lower glume up to half as long as the spikelet, sometimes suppressed; upper glume a little shorter than the spikelet; lower floret male or barren, its lemma as long as the spikelet, membranous; upper lemma as long as the spikelet, firmly membranous to coriaceous, the margins covering up to two-thirds of the palea. Caryopsis & elliptic to ovoid, dorsally compressed.
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