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Weed Identification

coastal sandbur

Family

Poaceae

Scientific Name

Cenchrus spinifex

Other Common Names:

field sandspur
grass bur
southern sandbur
spiny burrgrass

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Cenchrus pauciflorus; Cenchrus incertus; Cenchrus parviceps

Habit

Graminoid

Identifying Characteristics

Grass Family (Poaceae). Mat sandbur is a native, warm season annual and at times, short-lived perennial. The height ranges 8 to 24 inches. The leaf blade is 2 to 6 inches long and flat. The leaf sheath is flattened and hairy along margins. The stem is erect or grows along ground. The seedhead is a raceme with 6 to 20 spiny burs covered with fine hair, each enclosing 2 spikelets, and often topped by leaves.

Where Found

Southern and northeastern United States

Leaf Hair on Upper Surface

hairs on basal half only

Leaf Arrangement

folded in bud

Mature Leaf Width

Varies: 
less than 5 mm
6 to 15 mm

Stem

flat or oval

Seedhead

spiny burs

Life Cycle

perennial

Auricle

not present

Ligule

Varies: 
membrane
hairy

Ligule Length

Varies: 
less than 1 mm
1-2 mm

Plant Type

Grass