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Foxtail millet

German millet, Italian millet

Gramineae, or Poaceae Setaria italica (L.) Beauv

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This grass was cultivated in China more than 4000 years ago. It was introduced into this country from Europe in 1849 and is now grown through the Plains and Central States north from Texas. It is used as hay, pasture and green fodder. The seed is used as bird feed.

Foxtail millet is an annual grass growing to 5 feet under the best conditions. It is a warm weather crop, usually seeded after the soil becomes warm in late spring. Flowering stems are leafy throughout their length, but the hay or fodder is less nutritious than a number of other grasses and legumes. For this reason it is now grown less than in the past. A number of varieties, differing slightly in characteristics, are available. A weed grass called foxtail is a close relative.

Last update September 22, 1997 by aw