Southern sandbur (Cenchrus echinatus
) is a clump-forming annual grass. It is considered an invasive weed and is widespread in tropical regions worldwide. C. echinatus
seedheads consist of spike-like clusters of anything up to 50 burs. Each bur, 4–10 mm across, is a pale green to purplish ball of stout, broad, spiny bristles that are joined together at the base. The burs of the seed heads can become firmly attached to clothes and haircoats of horses by the barbed spines. These can penetrate the skin causing painful or annoying injuries.
is an oxalate accumulating plant. Ingestion of this plant over an extended period of time can cause chronic kidney disease in horses. Acute toxicity can also occur if large amounts of the plant are consumed in a short amount of time. C. echinatus
often contaminates haybales, which diminishes the quality and reduces the palatability for the horse.