Feb 23 2011

Foxtail Grass

Published by at 7:17 am under Winter Weeds & Trees


This grass is aptly named because its seed head resembles a fox’s tail. 

Foxtail grass can be a weed or an ornamental depending on your point of view.  The small version (Setaria glauca) is annoying in the “perfect lawn” but giant foxtail (Setaria magnus) is quite beautiful with its large fuzzy tufts that hold seeds at the base of the hairs.

You don’t have to cultivate foxtail grass.  It grows easily by the side of the road and in waste places.  And without any effort it will grow in your lawn.

Foxtail grass is in the same genus as cultivated millet.  I’ve often watched house sparrows jump up to pull seeds from the plumes of foxtail grass in my backyard.  Oddly, they refuse to eat the millet in mixed birdseed — they literally throw it on the ground. 

Hmmm…  Is that where my foxtail grass came from?

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Foxtail Grass”

  1. Lauren Conkleon 23 Feb 2011 at 12:12 pm

    At my church, we use foxtail grass every year to decorate the altar for Thanksgiving.

  2. Bobon 05 Aug 2011 at 9:42 am

    Foxtail seeds are dangerous to dogs.

    http://www.almostheaven-golden-retriever-rescue.org/foxtail-dog-dangers.html

    http://www.sfdog.org/do/foxtails.pdf

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Bird Stories from OnQ