Herbs & Plants

Setaria pumila

Botanical Name: Setaria pumila
Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantaenids
Order: Poales
Genus: Setaria
Species: S. pumila

Oplismenus helvolus (L.f.) P.Beauv.
Panicum flavescens Moench nom.
Panicum helvolum
Panicum holcoides J.Jacq.
Panicum luteum Gueldenst.
Panicum pallidifuscum Schumach.
Panicum pumilum

Common Names: Yellow foxtail, Yellow bristle-grass,Pigeon grass, Gugli-Kungui and Cattail grass.

Habitat: Setaria pumila is native to Europe, but it is known throughout the world as a common weed. It grows in lawns, sidewalks, roadsides, cultivated fields, and many other places.It is a common grass that occurs in every county of Illinois. It was introduced accidentally into North America from Europe. Habitats include limestone glades, gravelly areas along rivers, vacant lots, lawns, grassy areas along railroads and roadsides, fields, pastures, mined land, and miscellaneous waste areas. This grass prefers highly disturbed areas and rarely invades natural areas to any significant degree.

Setaria pumila is an annual grass grows 20 centimeters to well over a meter in height, its mostly hairless stems ranging from green to purple-tinged in color. The leaf blades are hairless on the upper surfaces, twisting, and up to 30 centimeters long . The inflorescence is a stiff, cylindrical bundle of spikelets 2 to 15 centimeters long with short, blunt bristles. The panicle may appear yellow or yellow-tinged.

The flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence. There are no branch points between the base of the inflorescence axis and the flowers, or they are not obvious. Spikelet length is 3–3.5 mm. There are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath.


Edible Uses: Seed – cooked and eaten. It can be eaten as a sweet or savoury food in all the ways that rice is used, or ground into a powder and made into porridge, cakes, puddings etc. The seed contains about 11.5% protein, 6% fat, 40.7% carbohydrate, 8.2% fat. A dust from the fungal infection of plants is eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
Freshly prepared root paste is warmed gently and applied for reducing the rheumatic pain by the Lodhas. Grains are boiled
and pounded to paste after mixing with black pepper (Piper nigrum) seeds at a ratio of 3:2 and applied on the bull’s neck sores by the Lodhas.

Other Uses: In some areas this grass plays an important role in stabilising bare soil to protect it from erosion. The culms are twisted together and used as a rope to tie sheaves of grain together.

Cultivation: This adaptable grass is typically found in full sun, moist to slightly dry conditions, and soil containing loam, clay loam, or gravelly material. Most growth and development occurs during the summer. It tolerates occasional mowing, although the surviving plants will be shorter and less erect. This grass can spread aggressively in disturbed areas.

Propagation: Through Seed – sow in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually quick and good.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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