E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.
foxtail millet (foxtail bristlegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
Once images have been obtained, photographs of this species will be displayed in this window.Click on the image to enter our photo gallery.
Currently no image is available for this taxon.
E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Setaria italica
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems erect, with many nodes, 50-150 cm tall.
Sheaths cylindrical, smooth, densely fringed with long, fine hairs on the margins above the middle; blades flat to folded, 8-15 mm wide, 15-45 cm long, sparsely hairy at the base, pimpled on the upper surfaces, more or less pimpled on the lower surfaces; ligules fringed with long, white, silky hairs up to 3 mm long.
Inflorescence a cylindrical, nodding or nearly erect, spikelike panicle with the tips nodding, branched at the base, mostly 3-30 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, bearing numerous spikelets contiguously, or the basal few branches slightly spaced; spikelets 2-flowered, 2-3 mm long, each subtended by 2 to 4, green or blackish-green, short bristles that are from nearly as long as the spikelets to 4 times long as the spikelets, the hairs directed upwards; lower glumes 3-nerved, about as long as or 1/3 the length of the spikelets, the upper ones 5- or 7-nerved, 2/3 to 3/4 the length of the spikelets; lower flowers male or sterile, the upper fertile; fertile lemmas not distinctly cross-wrinkled, loosely surrounded by the sterile lemmas and upper glumes, tending to be shed separately from them.
Closely related to S. viridis.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Fall to Winter
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields, roadsides and waste areas in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Chaetochloa italica (L.) Scribn.
Panicum italicum L.
Setaria italica (Koern.) F.T. Hubbard
Setaria italica var. metzgeri (Koern.) F.T. Hubbard
Setaria italica var. metzgeri (Koern.) Jáv.
Setaria italica var. stramineofructa (F.T. Hubbard) L.H. Bailey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References