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This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia, Tanzania, S. Africa, Yemen.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[GB]
Morphology General Habit
Perennial. Culms prostrate; 20-40 cm long; spongy; rooting from lower nodes. Leaf-sheaths reticulately veined. Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades 4-20 cm long; 5-7 mm wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle; embraced at base by subtending leaf. Panicle spiciform; linear; 4-10 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; united into a herbaceous lobed scale; oblong; 7-10 mm long; base bluntly stipitate. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; with one conspicuously longer bristle (12-25 mm); flattened; rigid; antrorsely scaberulous; glabrous; obtuse.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 10-14 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 10-14 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes one the lower absent or obscure, or two; dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 0-2 mm long; 0-0.2 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume ovate; 3-6 mm long; 0.4-0.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; herbaceous; without keels; 1-3 -veined. Upper glume apex acuminate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Basal sterile florets male; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 1 length of spikelet; herbaceous; 9 -veined; acute. Fertile lemma ovate; 10-14 mm long; cartilaginous; much thinner above; dark brown; without keel; 7 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute. Palea cartilaginous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; linear; 6-7 mm long; purple. Stigmas 1; terminally exserted; purple; plumose. Styles 12 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; oblong; dorsally compressed.
Distribution
Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, and south. Asia-temperate: Arabia.
Reference
Paniceae. FTEA.

[FTEA]

Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

Morphology General Habit
Perennial; culms spongy, branching and rooting at the nodes underwater, standing 30–40 cm. above the surface.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blades broadly linear, 5–20 cm. long, 4–7 mm. wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Raceme 4–10 cm. long; involucre purplish, irregularly 4–6-lobed, 7–10 mm. long, but one of the lobes almost free awn-like and 12–25 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets 10–14 mm. long; upper glume narrowly ovate, 3–6 mm. long; lower lemma herbaceous, tapering to a sharply acute tip; upper lemma similar, brown and cartilaginous below, herbaceous above.
Figures
Fig. 154.
Habitat
In running water; 1800 m.
Distribution
T2

Doubtfully present in:

KwaZulu-Natal

Native to:

Ethiopia, Free State, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Yemen

Cenchrus abyssinicus (Hack.) Morrone appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Schimper [1211], Ethiopia Odontelytrum abyssinicum K000281128 isotype
Schimper [1211], Ethiopia Odontelytrum abyssinicum K000281127 isotype

First published in Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 106: 127 (2010)

Accepted by

  • Retief, E. & Meyer, N.L. (2017). Plants of the Free State inventory and identification guide Strelitzia 38: 1-1236. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A. (1982). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 3: 451-898.
  • Cope, T.A., Knees, S.G. & Miller, A.G. (2007). Flora of the Arabian peninsula and Socotra 5(1): 1-387. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Retief, E. & Meyer, N.L. (2017). Plants of the Free State inventory and identification guide Strelitzia 38: 1-1236. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0