Pictured above: Cenchrus longispinus
This genus is characterized by the spiny burs enclosing clusters of spikelets. The stems are often decumbent and the ligule is a fringe of hairs.
There's 1 species in MN; 1 native.
Cenchrus longispinus (sen' krus lon jee spy' nus)
- Synonyms: C. pauciflorus
- Common names: sandbur; Lakota: peji unkcela
- Origin and habitat: Native: dry sandy soil
- Identifying characters: An annual weedy grass with purplish lower internodes. Leaf sheaths are compressed and keeled near the collar area with a fringed ligule. The inflorescence consists of hard burred clusters; each bur containing 2 florets.
- Comments: Probably the easiest to recognize of the grasses because of the burs, though often not noticed until the burs make their way through slacks and socks. The seeds will stay dormant and viable only for a few years.
Additional species in Minnesota:
Copyright 2002, A.F. Cholewa, J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota / No portion of this guide may be duplicated without written permission of author.