Nodding Foxtail

Nodding_Foxtail_jpgThe Poaceae family is commonly called the grass family.  The genusSetaria is from seta meaning “a bristle” and refers to the spike-like panicles (terminal inflorescence). Grasses in this genus are sometimes called “Bristlegrass”.  This species faberii was named in 1910 for Ernst Faber the discover of Nodding Foxtail. There are 13 kinds of Bristlegrass (Setaris) in the United States and about 65 worldwide.  Two species Yellow Bristlegrass (Setaris lutescens) and Green Bristlegrass (Setaris viridis) are outstanding in abundance and in importance to wildlife.  They have a wide distribution in grain, corn, and clover fields and in many other open places where the ground has been broken.  Because of their wide distribution and large seeds, these bristly-headed grasses top all other weeds in the country in food value to wildlife. Grasses in this genus Setaria are an important food for upland gamebirds, songbirds and rodents.  A cultivated species (Setaria italica) commonly known as golden millet is used in cagebird feed mixtures.

OtherCommonName:

Faber’s Bristlegrass, Giant Foxtail

ScientificName:

Setaria faberii FAMILY: Poaceae

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from East Asia

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

1 ½ to 8 feet

FruitingTime:

July to October

Distribution:

Massachusetts to North Carolina ~ Statewide in New Jersey ~ Very common weed in many habitats including road sides

FloweringTime:

Mid July to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Blade long and narrow, hairy on both sides ~ Spike robust, 3 inches long, green, flexible, bristles upward, drooping from near the base ~ Grain cross-wrinkled