Botanical Name : Setaria viridis pycnocoma
Species: S. viridis
Synonyms: Panicum pycnocomum, Setaria pycnocoma
Common Names: Ju da gou wei cao, Panicum pycnocomum Steudel.
Habitat : Setaria viridis pycnocoma is native to E. Asia – Japan. It grows on roadsides, forest margins and as a crop weed, especially in S. italica fields, at elevations below 2700 metres.
Setaria viridis pycnocoma is an annual plant. Culms little branched at base, 60–150 cm tall. Leaf blades 15–40 × 1–2.5 cm, glabrous on both surfaces. Panicle sometimes lobed, 7–24 × 1.5–2.5 cm; bristles green, brownish or purplish, 7–12 mm. Spikelets 2.5–3 mm. This robust form of Setaria viridis may be of hybrid origin, resulting from crossing with S. italica. Unlike Setaria italica, the spikelets are shed whole….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun. This robust form of S. viridis may be of hybrid origin, resulting from crossing with S. italica. Unlike S. italica the spikelets are shed whole.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts. Whilst this is fine for small quantities, it would be an extremely labour intensive method if larger amounts were to be grown. The seed can be sown in situ in the middle of spring though it is then later in coming into flower and may not ripen its seed in a cool summer
Edible Uses: Seed – cooked. It can be eaten as a sweet or savoury food in all the ways that rice is used, or ground into a flour and made into porridge, cakes, puddings etc.
Medicinal Uses: Could not find much.