Cenchrus biflorus

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Cenchrus biflorus Roxb.
  • Cenchrus comes from a Greek word kenchros means a kind of millet and biflorus referes to 2 flowered.

  • Synonyms : Cenchrus barbatus Schumach
  • Common Name : Dhaman
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineaeis also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 12, 23, 26
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Punit Van, Van Chetana Kendra

About Cenchrus biflorus Plant :

  • Habit : An annual herb.
  • Stem : 15-60 cm long,  simple.
  • Leaves : 7.5-25 cm by 3-10 mm, linear-lanceolate, finely acuminate, glabrous or hairy; sheaths glabrous or nearly so, ciliate near the mouth; ligule a pubescent ring.
  • Inflorescence : Racemes 5-10 cm long, solitary, cylindric; rachis angular, smooth; involucel usually 2-flowered, rounded at the base; bristles thick, lanceolate-subulate, erect, dorsally flattened,  the outer very short, about 1.6-2.5mm long, glabrous, the inner 3 mm long, glabrous or puberulous.
  • Flowers : Spikelets 4 mm long, subglobose. Glumes 4; lower involucral glume 2.5 mm long, ovate, acuminate, very thin, hyaline, 1- (rarely 3-) nerved; upper involucral glume 4 mm long, ovate, apiculate, 5-nerved, hyaline; lower floral glume scarcely shorter than the upper involucral glume, ovate, acute, 5-7 nerved, paleate, the palea 3 mm long, oblong, obtuse; upper floral glume as long as the lower, ovate, obtuse. Anthers 2.5-3 mm long. Styles free almost to the base.
  • Fruit : Grain 2 by 1.6 mm, orbicular-oblong, compressed, smooth, shining, pale brown.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : September onwards.
  • Significance :
    • It is one of the nutritious of Indian grasses and considered to be very best for milk production (Duthie).
    • The hay is good.