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Useful Tropical Plants

Cenchrus polystachios

(L.) Morrone

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Cenchrus retusus Sw.

Cenchrus setosus Sw.

Cenchrus subangustus (Schumach.) Morrone

Cenchrus triticoides (Poir.) Veldkamp

Gymnotrix geniculata Schult.

Gymnotrix polystachya (L.) Sw. ex Trin.

Panicum alopecuros Lam.

Panicum barbatum Roxb.

Panicum cauda-ratti Schumach.

Panicum cenchroides Rich.

Panicum densispica Poir.

Panicum dentispica Kunth.

Panicum erubescens Willd.

Panicum holcoides Roxb.

Panicum longisetum Poir.

Panicum polystachion L.

Panicum subangustum Schumach.

Panicum triticoides Poir.

Pennisetum alopecuroides Ham.

Pennisetum amethystinum P.Beauv.

Pennisetum atrichum Stapf & C.E.Hubb.

Pennisetum barbatum Schult.

Pennisetum borbonicum Kunth

Pennisetum breve Nees

Pennisetum cauda-ratti (Schumach.) Franch.

Pennisetum ciliares Hook.f.

Pennisetum ciliatum Parl.

Pennisetum dasystachyum Desv.

Pennisetum elegans Nees ex Steud.

Pennisetum erubescens (Willd.) Desv. ex Ham.

Pennisetum flavescens J.Presl

Pennisetum gabonense Franch.

Pennisetum gracile Benth.

Pennisetum hamiltonii Steud.

Pennisetum hirsutum Nees

Pennisetum holcoides Schult.

Pennisetum myurus Parl.

Pennisetum nicaraguense E.Fourn.

Pennisetum pallidum Nees

Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.

Pennisetum polystachyum Schult.

Pennisetum purpurascens Kunth

Pennisetum ramosum C.Sm.

Pennisetum reversum Hack.

Pennisetum richardii Kunth

Pennisetum setosum (Sw.) Rich.

Pennisetum sieberi Kunth

Pennisetum stenostachyum Peter

Pennisetum subangustum (Schumach.) Stapf & C.E.Hubb.

Pennisetum tenuispiculatum Steud.

Pennisetum triticoides (Poir.) Roem. & Schult.

Pennisetum uniflorum Kunth

Setaria cenchroides (Rich.) Roem. & Schult.

Setaria erubescens (Willd.) P.Beauv.

Setaria geniculata Sieber ex Kunth

Common Name:

Cenchrus polystachios
Flowering plant, growing on a slope at Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons License
Cenchrus polystachios Cenchrus polystachios Cenchrus polystachios Cenchrus polystachios Cenchrus polystachios

General Information

Cenchrus polystachios is a clump-forming, annual or perennial grass. The culms are geniculately ascending, they can be simple or branched, with the branches often flowering, and are 30 - 200cm long. It has been said that the plant is annual in Africa and Asia, but is perennial in the Americas[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].
The plant is sometimes used for soil stabilization, whilst the dried culms can be used for paper production.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Widespread through tropical Africa, Arabian Pininsula, Indian Ocean to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Habitat

Grassland on sandy soils[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Disturbed areas including roadsides, degraded pastures and waste sites[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist tropical zone, preferring lowland areas but also found at elevations up to 2,400 metres - it is rarely found growing outside the tropical region. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 32 - 35°c, but can tolerate 12 - 40°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 750 - 3,000mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Grows best in a sunny position or in light shade[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
], though it has persisted when growing under 80% shade[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. It succeeds in a wide range of soils, preferring sandy soils and tolerating low fertility[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It succeeds in highly phosphate-deficient nigrescent soils in Fiji[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.4 - 8.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Established plants are tolerant of short-term seasonal inundation, and also of drought[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Originally native from Africa to India, the plant has spread through human activity and has become naturalized in many other areas of the tropics. It is declared a noxious weed in some areas[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. The spreads are light and fluffy, they are spread readily by wind, attachment to animals, clothing etc. They also survive the annual burning that occurs in some areas - they then germinates rapidly and can smother other seedling plants. As a fire disclimax, it becomes the dominant species in a good deal of the mountainous land in Thailand and Fiji[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. It causes major problems in the Northern Territory of Australia, where it has greatly increased the amount of flammable material in the wooded savannah ecosystem, leading to greater devastation from bushfires[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].
Dry matter yields may be between 5 - 10 tonnes per hectare[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

This species is useful for controlling soil erosion, especially on sloping land[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
It quickly covers the ashes of a fire and forms a dense tussock grassland preventing erosion[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. As a fire disclimax, Cenchrus polystachios grassland invades a good deal of the mountainous land in Thailand and Fiji[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].

Other Uses

The fully mature culms make good paper pulp[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in situ and then roll the soil to firm the seed. Seed can also be sown in a nursery seedbed and then transplanted[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].
The seed has no dormancy and can germinate whilst still on the plant in very wet weather[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-08-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cenchrus+polystachios>

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