Common name: Foxtail Millet
Setaria italica (L.) P.Beauv. APNI*
Description: Perennials to c. 1.5 m tall, usually erect from the base.
Culms very robust, terete, striate, branching, hairy at the nodes. Sheaths terete or slightly keeled, very striate, margins densely ciliate to glabrous; ligule a very dense row of hairs; blade plicate, palm-leaflet-like, linear-elliptical, acuminate, 27–90 cm long, 3–12 cm wide, margins scabrid.
Inflorescence spike-like, erect or nodding or flexuose, dense, cylindrical or ± lobed, 2.5–30 cm long, branches spirally arranged. Spikelets persistent, broadly oblong to semi-elliptic, 2–3.5 mm long, in clusters of 2–4 spikelets, each cluster subtended by 1–5 bristles each 4–15 mm long. Lower glume c. 30% spikelet length, 1–3-nerved, broadly ovate, acute or subacute; upper 65–80% spikelet length, 5–7-nerved, elliptical, subacute to obtuse. Lower lemma sterile, as long as spikelet, 5-nerved; palea a hyaline scale or absent. Upper lemma bisexual, disarticulating above the rest of the spikelet; as long as spikelet, oblong to broadly elliptical; palea similar. Grain elliptical to globose-ellipsoid, dorsally slightly compressed, 1.5–2 mm long, whitish.
Flowering: Flowers in summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Sparsely cultivated and occasionally naturalised throughout the State.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B. Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.