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Foxtail Weed


Foxtail weed

Setaria spp.


Summer annual grasses that are basically considered weeds. Yellow foxtail (Setaria pumila), Green foxtail (S. viridis). Foxtails inhabit agricultural land and other disturbed areas. Yellow foxtail can also invade turf and gardens. All varieties grow in moist or dry soil and tolerate a broad range of environmental conditions, such as roadsides, ditch banks, fields, pastures, cropland, orchards, vineyards, gardens, and other disturbed sites.



Foxtails grow in loose clumps or sometimes singly. First leaves are usually parallel to the ground. Stems are erect or bent at the base, but overall grow upward. Mature foxtails range in height from 1 to 3 feet and branch at the base. Leaf blades are 4 to 15 inches long and most have a spiral twist. Reproduces by seed.


Bloom times for these species are: Giant foxtail: June through November Green foxtail: May through November Yellow foxtail: June through December


Photo Oregon State U Ag Extension


Flower heads are spike-like, bristly, and densely packed with flowers (florets). Giant foxtail flower heads range from about 3 to 7 inches long; yellow foxtail flower heads 7/10 to 3 inches long; and green foxtail flower heads 7/10 to 6 inches long. These plants are not compatible with dogs. Check their feet, ears, eyes, nose, and genitals for embedded seedheads. Visit WebMD for more information:

Foxtails travel. Moving relentlessly forward, never back, they can migrate from inside your dog's nose to its brain. They can dig through skin or be inhaled into — and then perforate — a lung.

Embedded foxtails can cause discharge, abscesses, swelling, pain, and death. If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, check for foxtails or talk to your vet.

This weed is easy to remove by hand or with push/pull hoes. Seed production can be limited by the use of corn gluten meal applied in early spring at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. You may also be able to kill it with a product like Agralawn Crabgrass Killer.


More information from PetMD.





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