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Cenchrus ciliaris

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Cenchrus ciliaris (buffel-grass<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> or African foxtail grass; syn. Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link) is a species of grass native to most of Africa, southern Asia (east to India), southern Iran, and the extreme south of Europe (Sicily).<ref name=grin>Germplasm Resources Information Network: Cenchrus ciliaris.</ref>

It is a perennial grass growing to 50 cm tall. The leaves are linear, 3–25 cm long and 4–10 mm wide. The flowers are produced in a panicle 2–14 cm long and 1–2.6 cm wide.<ref name=kew>Template:GrassBase</ref>

As an invasive species

Cenchrus ciliaris has become naturalised and often an invasive species in Australia, the southwestern United States, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Macaronesia.<ref name=grin/> In the Sonoran Desert it was introduced for erosion control. In the Mexican part of the Sonoran Desert, it is still being planted and irrigated for livestock grazing.

It spreads very quickly and will often kill local native plants such as palo verdes by taking away nearby water. This plant has a very low ignition threshold and can burst into a raging flame even during the peak growing season. Its flammability and quick regrowth allow it to compete successfully against almost all vegetation in the Sonoran Desert region.<ref name=desert>Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Buffelgrass.</ref>



External links


  • This page was last modified on 16 January 2016, at 10:02.
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