Cenchrus ciliaris* L.. Mant.
Pl. 2: 302 (1771).
Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily
Recent synonyms: Pennisetum ciliare.
(books and floras):  C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1
Gramineae (284),  M.Lazarides in
J.Jessop (ed)., Flora of Central Australia (480),
 D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia as Pennisetum, [2006 ]
J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (432),  S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses
of New South Wales (179).
 C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (285,
Pl.82),  J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses
of South Australia (432, fig. 362),  S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses
of New South Wales, 4th edn (179).
or perennial. Rhizomes present, short. Stolons absent or present. Culms
geniculately ascending, 10–150 cm tall, 1–4 mm diam., wiry. Lateral branches
sparsely branched. Leaves basal and cauline. Leaf-sheaths scaberulous, glabrous
on surface or hairy. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.2–2 mm long. Leaf-blades 3–25
cm long, 4–10 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous, glabrous or indumented.
Inflorescence solid, of only a few spikelets (spicate). Panicle linear to
oblong, 2–14 cm long, 1–2.6 cm wide. Racemes 2–14 cm long, 1–2.6 mm wide.
Spikelets sessile, 1–4 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles, connate
into a disc below (0.5–1mm diam). Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, the lower
floret barren (rarely male), the upper fertile, comprising 1 basal sterile
florets, comprising 1 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension,
lanceolate, dorsally compressed, 2–5.5 mm long.
similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate, hyaline, without keels,
1 -nerved. Upper glume ovate, hyaline, without keels, 1–3 -nerved. Florets.
Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower
sterile floret 100 % of length of spikelet, membranous, 5 -nerved, mucronate.
Fertile lemma 2–5.5 mm
long, without keel, 5 -nerved. Lemma apex mucronate. Palea 2 -nerved. Lodicules
present. Anthers 3. Grain 1–1.3 mm long.
Distribution: Europe, Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia,
Pacific, North America, and South America.
Distribution: Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia,
Queensland, New South Wales, Cocos Keeling Is, Ashmore Reef, Coral Sea Is.
Gardner, Fitzgerald, Hall, Dampier. Canning, Giles, Fortescue, Carnarvon.
Irwin, Avon, Coolgardie. Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf, Victoria
River, Barkly Tableland, Central Australia North, Central Australia South. South
Australia: North-western, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre
Peninsula. Queensland: Burke, Burnett, Cook, Darling Downs, Leichhardt,
Maranoa, Mitchell, Moreton, North Kennedy, Port Curtis, South Kennedy, Wide
Bay, Gregory North, Gregory South, Warrego. New South Wales: North
Coast, Central Coast, Northern Tablelands, Central Tablelands, Central-Western
Slopes, North-Western Plains, North Far Western Plains, South Far Western
The name C. pennisetiformis has been applied to those specimens with
smaller habit and a distinct fusion of the bristles. However, these characters
cannot be applied consistently.
temperate rain forests, tropical and subtropical wet sclerophyll forests, dry
sclerophyll forests, Brigalow forests, tropical and subtropical sub-humid
woodlands, temperate sub-humid woodlands, semi-arid shrub woodlands, arid and
semi-arid low woodlands, shrub steppe shrublands, acacia shrublands, eucalypt
shrublands, arid tussock grasslands, arid hummock grasslands, coastal
grasslands, and tropical sub-humid grasslands. A forage species now well
established in Australia. Flowers mostly Mar.-Oct.