Melanocenchris Nees
  • Proc. Linn. Soc. London 1: 94 (1841) 

Notes: Distribution: Egypt to NE. Trop. Africa, Arabian Pen. to Indian Subcontinent

General Description

HABIT Annual (2), or perennial (1). Culms geniculately ascending (2/2), or decumbent (1/2); 6-18.5-30 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades filiform (2), or linear (1). INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence composed of racemes. Racemes borne along a central axis; spreading; cuneate; unilateral; bearing few fertile spikelets; bearing 1-2 fertile spikelets on each. Rhachis deciduous from axis; flattened; terminating in a barren extension; extension a forked bristle. Spikelets appressed; solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile. FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets cuneate; dorsally compressed; 3-6.5-9 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. GLUMES Glumes collateral; shorter than spikelet (2), or reaching apex of florets (1). Lower glume linear; 1 length of upper glume; coriaceous; without keels; 1 -veined (1), or 3 -veined (2). Lower glume lateral veins absent (1), or distinct (2). Lower glume surface villous. Lower glume apex awned. Upper glume linear; 0.3-0.35-0.4 length of adjacent fertile lemma; coriaceous; with hyaline margins; without keels; 1 -veined (1), or 3 -veined (2). Upper glume surface villous. Upper glume apex acute (2), or acuminate (1); awned; 1 -awned. FLORETS Fertile lemma elliptic; membranous (2), or chartaceous (1); of similar consistency on margins (1), or much thinner on margins (2); keeled; 3 -veined. Lemma surface smooth (2), or scaberulous (1). Lemma margins eciliate (1), or ciliolate (2). Lemma apex entire (1), or lobed (2); 3 -fid (2/2); incised 0.25 of lemma length; emarginate (1/1), or acute (1/1); awned; 1 -awned (1), or 3 -awned (2). Lateral lemma awns shorter than principal (2/2). Palea 1 length of lemma; 2 -veined. Palea apex dentate. Apical sterile florets 1 in number (1), or 2 in number, or 3 in number (2); male (1), or barren; oblong (1), or cuneate (2). Apical sterile lemmas muticous (2), or awned (1). FLOWER Anthers 3 (2/2). FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp (2/2); oblong (1/1). DISTRIBUTION Africa (2), or Temperate Asia (2), or Tropical Asia.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Northeast Tropical Africa Chad
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Socotra
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Northern Africa Egypt
  • Asia-Temperate Arabian Peninsula Gulf States
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Western Asia Iran
  • Iraq
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • West Himalaya


  • 1 Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
Clayton, W.D., Vorontsova, M.S., Harman, K.T. and Williamson, H. (2006 onwards). GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. [accessed 24 January 2012; 14:30 GMT]
  • A © Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • C See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.