UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program

Cenchrus longispinus

Common Name: 
longspine sandbur, sandspur, field sandbur, common sandbur
Scientific Name: 
Cenchrus longispinus (Hack.) Fern.
Family Name: 
Poaceae (Graminae) - Grass Family
Identification Notes
Life Cycle: 
native annual, reproducing by seed
Culms: 
multiple from base, tufted, spreading and ascending, mat-forming and rooting at nodes, compressed, smooth
Growth Habit of Longspine Sandbur
Growth Habit of Longspine Sandbur
Leaves: 
blades flat or somewhat in-rolled, wide, rough above and nearly smooth below, often sparsely haired; rolled in bud; auricles absent; ligule fringe of hairs; sheaths smooth, loose, flattened and keeled, split part way, margins constricted at summit, margin
Seedheads: 
terminal panicle, spike-like, dense, spikelet subtended by an conspicuous, invoulcre; invoulcre bur-like, burs with sharp spines and hairy
Seedheads of Longspine Sandbur
Seedheads of Longspine Sandbur