Cenchrus spinifex Cav.
Coastal sandbur, Field Sandspur, Southern sandbur, Spiny burrgrass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Cenchrus incertus, Cenchrus parviceps, Cenchrus pauciflorus
USDA Symbol: cesp4
Culms: 8-80 cm long. Inflorescence: spiney. Spines: 8-40 per bur.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Class: 0-1 ft. , 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Burs purplish
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , DC , FL , GA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MS , NC , NM , NV , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Texas: Throughout but most abundant in north-central and southeast Texas and Rio Grande Plains. U.S.A.: Coastal States, Virginia to Texas and inland to Arkansas and Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California. International: Nearly throughtout Mexico, Central America, and West Indies; also warm-temperate and subtropical parts of South America; Philipines; South Africa.
Native Habitat: Sandy or tighter soils, especially in disturbed areas.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Best adapted to dry sandy and sandy loam soil.
Conditions Comments: Common on disturbed sites.
BenefitUse Wildlife: The song bird, Pyrrhuloxia, eat the seeds.
Warning: Very painful to walk on in bare feet. Burs stick to clothing.
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Treatment: No special pre-treatment.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0332 Collected May 22, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-RLU-3 Collected 2009-09-05 in Burnet County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Recommended Species Lists
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Cenchrus spinifex in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cenchrus spinifex in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cenchrus spinifex
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-12-03
Research By: TWC Staff