Cenchrus ciliaris L.
buffelgrass
Poaceae

This small, perennial bunchgrass forms continuous cover in arid habitats. The dried shoots provide an excellent fuel for fire, from which the plant recovers rapidly by basal shoots. It is a fire-enhanced species as its cover increases with each succeeding fire. The seeds are dispersed by wind. It has not been evaluated for biological control, because of its extensive use in erosion control.

The species is confined to arid habitats between sea level and 150 m elevation. There are major infestations at Lualualei, O'ahu; Kihei, Maui; on Kaho'olawe; and at Kawaihae, Hawai'i. It has recently become the dominant grass on Molokini Island.


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