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Pest Information

Field Sandbur

Field Sandbur

  • Latin Name: Cenchrus Incertus
  • Common Name: Field Sandbur
  • Other Names: Coast sandspur, field sandspur

Pest Details

Field Sandbur
Field Sandbur
Field Sandbur


Native to warm regions of the western hemisphere, and currently found along the coastal states from Virginia south through Florida and west to California, as well as throughout Latin America and in Africa and parts of Asia.


Usually an annual grass but sometimes a short-lived perennial, reproducing from the spiny seeds. Plants particularly do well in sandy soils and in poorly maintained sites on sandy soils. The spiny seeds easily stick to passing animals or clothing, and are transported to new sites.


Mature plants easily recognized as a “sandbur” by the conspicuous stalk of large, spiny seed heads. This variety has spines on the seed head that are flattened and less numerous than on other similar sandburs, and which are uniformly light green in color. Leaf blades are flat to only slightly folded, and have a rough texture to them.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Maintenance of healthy turf will help to compete with the establishment of sandburs, and applications of a pre-emergent will help prevent seed growth. Post-emergent control may be possible with a grass herbicide such as MSMA.

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