Print This Page

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

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.

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.


  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns