Cenchrus biflorus

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Cenchrus biflorus
Cenchrus biflorus MS6631.jpg
Cenchrus biflorus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cenchrus
C. biflorus
Binomial name
Cenchrus biflorus

Cenchrus catharticus

Cenchrus biflorus is a species of annual grass in the family Poaceae. Common names include Indian sandbur, Bhurat or Bhurut in India, Haskaneet in Sudan, Aneeti in the Arabic dialect of Mauritania, K 'arangiya in the Hausa language of Nigeria, and Ngibbi in the Kanuri language of Nigeria.[1] In the francophone countries of the Sahel, it is usually referred to as "cram-cram" .


Cenchrus biflorus is an annual grass of the family Poaceae with culms between 4–90 cm high and spikelets that are 1-3 per bur and 3.6 to 6 mm long. Seeds dispersal is through the attachment of burs to passing cars, animals and human clothes. The burs of the plant can be harmful to animals because it adheres to animal skin and may cause ulcers in mouths of animals.[2]


It is common in the Sahel savannas of Africa, south of the Sahara.[3] According to a botanical criteria of geographer Robert Capot-Rey, the northern limit of Cenchrus biflorus defines the southern boundary of the Sahara.[4][5]

It is also found in India, where the seeds are used in Rajasthan and its Marwar region to make bread, either alone or mixed with bajra (millet).[1]


A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known grain has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.[6] It is thus considered a famine food in several desertic areas. Cenchrus biflorus is also a valuable fodder plant for ruminants, particularly at its early stages of development.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Famine foods: Poaceae or Gramineae" Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture [1]. Accessed December 29, 2007.
  2. ^ Shimane W. Makhabu and Balisana Marotsi, “Changes in Herbaceous Species Composition in the Absence of Disturbance in a Cenchrus biflorus Roxb. Invaded Area in Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana,” International Journal of Ecology, vol. 2012, Article ID 174813, 6 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/174813
  3. ^ "Sahelian Acacia savanna". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  4. ^ Grove, A.T., nicole (2007) [1958]. "The Ancient Erg of Hausaland, and Similar Formations on the South Side of the Sahara". The Geographical Journal. Blackwell Publishing. 124 (4): 528–533. doi:10.2307/1790942. JSTOR 1790942.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Bisson, J. (2003). Mythes et réalités d'un désert convoité: le Sahara (in French). L'Harmattan.
  6. ^ National Research Council (1996-02-14). "Wild Grains". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains. Lost Crops of Africa. 1. National Academies Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-309-04990-0. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  7. ^ Heuzé V., Tran G., Delagarde R., 2017. Indian sandbur (Cenchrus biflorus). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/483 Last updated on July 17, 2017, 18:11

External links[edit]