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Giant bristlegrass, Setaria magna


Family: Poaceae (Grass)

Group: Monocot

Life span: Annual

Origin: Tropical America

Growth form: Graminoid

Annual with erect stems up to 12 feet tall. Seedlings tend to be very robust, growing quickly. The joints are smooth, but there is a distinctive ring of fine hairs just below the joint. The stem is extremely flat. Leaf sheaths are smooth, but the margins near the top are lined with hairs. Leaf blades are flat, sandpapery, 3/8 to 1 ½ inches wide and 6 to 27 inches long. Seedheads are cylindrical, composed of bristles, yellowish-brown in color, and usually 3-12 inches long. They closely resemble extremely large versions of those seen on other foxtail species. Propagation is by seed, and giant bristlegrass is primarily found in disturbed wetland sites, but is becoming more common in fields.