Nine Awned Grass

© Nine Awned Grass

Latin Name

Enneapogon cenchroides


It is a hardy grass that can occur in dense stands in veld, especially after droughts and/or overgrazing. Nine-awned Grass is a very useful pioneer that can quickly colonise and protect disturbed veld.


Length up to 1 m. The leaves and culms are covered with dense, velvety hairs. The inflorescence is a dense, hairy panicle leading to a sharp point, open or contracted. The nodes are densely hairy.


Nine-awned Grass usually grows in disturbed veld. It can also be found along roadsides. It mostly grows in sandy and gravelly soil and is common in mopaneveld and limestone areas.


December - May

Field Notes

Nine-awned Grass is found south of the Sahari, from the Sudan south into South Africa. It is a valuable pioneer grass species in that it prevents soil erosion in many parts of the continent - been able to grow relatively quickly in disturbed and damaged soil, especially after drought or overgrazing.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari