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Cenchrus echinatus L.

Sp.Pl. 2:1050 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Sometimes rhizomatous, tufted annual or perennial (rarely), grass-like or herb, 0.1-0.6(-1.2) m high. Fl. green, Jan to Aug. Sand, red loam, black peaty clay.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 1 November 1993


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Central Ranges, Dampierland, Darwin Coastal, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Indian Tropical Islands, Northern Kimberley, Ord Victoria Plain, Pilbara, Swan Coastal Plain, Victoria Bonaparte.
IBRA Subregions
Chichester, Fitzgerald, Fitzroy Trough, Geraldton Hills, Hamersley, Katanning, Keep, Lateritic Plain, Lesueur Sandplain, Mackay, Mann-Musgrave Block, Merredin, Mitchell, Perth, Pindanland, Purnululu, Roebourne, South Kimberley Interzone, Wooramel.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Ashburton, Belmont, Broome, Carnamah, Cocos Islands, Coorow, Derby-West Kimberley, East Pilbara, Gingin, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Joondalup, Karratha, Kellerberrin, Melville, Nedlands, Ngaanyatjarraku, Northam, Northampton, Nungarin, Perth, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, Shark Bay, Wagin, Wyndham-East Kimberley.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Burrgrass, walkaway burr.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, mammals, water, clothing. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Seedbank persistence. Medium, 1-5 years. Fire response. Stimulates germination of soil-stored seed.

Notes. Common in disturbed sites, particularly on coastal dunes and limestone soils. Also found on cultivated and abandoned fields, pastures, roadsides, lawns, dunes and along river sands. Under dry conditions plants are short-lived, small, and produce few burrs, while under moist conditions they may be long-lived, large and produces many burrs. Rapidly colonises bare or open ground. Withstands repeated defoliation in lawns, harvesting in forage crops or in pastures. Burrs readily attach to clothing or animals and can be carried by water.

Additional information. Origin. South America, southern North America. Similar exotic species. Cenchrus ciliaris.

Suggested method of management and control. Prevent seed set. Manually remove small infestations and isolatated plants. Spray with Verdict 520® 5 ml/10 L (250 ml/ha) + wetting agent or spot spray with 1% glyphosate. Follow-up with seedling control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant             Y Y Y O      
Active Growth Y Y Y Y Y           O Y  
Optimum Treatment                          

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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