Sporobolus spicatus

Sporobolus spicatus (Vahl) Kunth

Common Names

نجيل شيطانى (نِجيل شيطانى)، سما (سمَّا) (Arabic), صامه (صَامّه)، سل (سِل)، سله (سِلَّه، سِلِّة) (Arabic), معبوص (مَعبوص)، البرستى، سبط جبلى (سَبَط جبلى) (Arabic), سبط (سَبَطْ، سَبْط)، سبد (سَبَدْ)، سخم (سَخَمْ) (Arabic), أبو ركب (أبو رُكَب)، أبو ركبه (رُكبه، رُكيبه) (Arabic), سخام (سَخَام)، نجيل شوكى (نِجيل شوكى) (Arabic)

Languages: English



A stoloniferous, tufted, sometimes mat-forming, perennial grass with wiry culms, often with fascicles of shoots at the nodes, arching over and rooting to form long looping stolons. Leaf blades have in-rolled margins but are sometimes flat, with needle-like points, and often painfully pungent. The inflorescence is a spike-like panicle smoothly and compactly cylindrical and with branches closely appressed to the main axis; the spikelets are very dense, cylindrical, narrow and pale. Fruit is an ellipsoid grain.



Height: To 70 cm.

Ecology and Distribution

Global Distribution

Drier parts of Africa from the Mediterranean coast to South Africa, southwest Asia to India.

Distribution in Egypt

Nile Valley North of Nubia (Location: Delta), Nile Valley North of Nubia (Location: Fayium), Nile Valley North of Nubia, Nubia, Libyan Desert Oases, Nubian Desert Oases, Gebel Oweinat, Mareotic Sector, North Sinai, Isthmic Desert, Libyan Desert, Nubian Desert, Arabian Desert, Galala Desert, South Red Sea Coast, North Red Sea Coast, Mountainous Southern Sinai.


Seasonally inundated saline desert sand.

Life Expectancy



  • Agrostis spicata Vahl (synonym)
  • Agrostis virginica Forssk. (synonym)


F.N., Hepper., & I. Friis. (1994).  The Plants of Pehr Forsskal's "Flora Ageyptiaco-Arabica". Kew: Kew Publishing..
L., Boulos. (Submitted).  Flora of Egypt. Cairo: Al Hadara Publishing..
V., Täckholm. (1974).  Students’ Flora of Egypt, 2nd Ed. Cairo: Cairo University Press..
V., Täckholm., & M. Drar. (Submitted).  Flora of Egypt. Bulletin of the Faculty of Science. Cairo: Cairo University Press..