Weed of the Month: Sandburs

Though not toxic, burs found on the plants can cause mechanical damage if horses consume them.

No account yet? Register


Weed of the Month: Field Sandbur
Field sandbur. | Photo: Oklahoma State University
Common name: Sandburs
Scientific name: Cenchrus spinifex Cav. (field sandbur)
Cenchrus longispinus (Hack.) Fern (longspine sandbur)

Life Cycle: Annual
Origin: Native
Poisonous: No

Sandbur is the common name for several annual grasses that produce burs with multiple sharp spines. These grasses grow in pastures, landscape beds, gardens, fields, and roadsides. Field sandbur and longspine sandbur are the two most common species, whereas southern sandbur grows primarily in southern states. All are native to the Americas.

Sandburs are particularly problematic at maturity. Because of their sharp burs, they inhibit grazing of desirable grasses and make it difficult for horses to selectively graze around the sandbur. Sandburs are major weeds of bermudagrass hay fields. Infested hay is undesirable because the burs inhibit hay consumption

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
254 votes · 508 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!