Yellow Foxtail

Yellow_Foxtail_jpgYellow Foxtail is a member of the Poaceae family commonly called the grass family. The name of this genus (Setaria) comes from the Latin seta which mean “bristle” and refers to the shape of the tuft or inflorescence. A cultivated species in this genus (Setaria) is Millet (Setaria italica) grown for food in the Near East and China. In the United States there are three common species in this genus and all are weeds.  Yellow Foxtail is a weed of disturbed ground such as roadsides.

OtherCommonName:

Pigeongrass, Yellow Bristle Grass

ScientificName:

Setaria glauca

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from Europe, becoming cosmopolitan weed in many countries

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

1 to 4 feet

FruitingTime:

Late July to August

Distribution:

Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Early July to August

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Erect with large cylindrical, flexible,  tufts with short yellow-brown hairs ~ Blades loosely twisted. Consider the often quoted rhyme when identifying grasses (Poaceae family): “Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints from their tips to the ground.”If one squeezes the inflorescence (tuft) through one’s hands, it will wiggle like a wooly bear caterpillar.