marsh bristlegrass (Setaria parviflora)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON NAMES:

marsh bristlegrass

bristly foxtail

knotroot bristlegrass

yellow bristlegrass

 

SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS:

The following is a partial list of the many synonyms for Setaria

parviflora.

 

Cenchrus parviflorus Poir.

Chaetochloa geniculata (Lam.) Millsp. & Chase

Chaetochloa imberbis (Poir.) Scribn.

Panicum geniculatum Lam.

Setaria geniculata (Wild.) P. Beauv., nom. illeg.

Setaria geniculata (Lam.) P. Beauv. var. geniculata
Setaria geniculata (Lam.) P. Beauv. var. pauciseta Desv.

Setaria gracilis Kunth

Setaria gracilis Kunth var. gracilis
Setaria gracilis
Kunth var. pauciseta (Desv.) B. Simon

 

TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for marsh

bristlegrass is Setaria parviflora (Poir.) Kerguélen.

 

NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States.

 

GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Marsh bristlegrass

is perennial herb. Stems are 30 centimeters to well over one meter tall. It

has a stem base that is hard with knot-like swellings. The leaf blades are

up to 25 centimeters long and under a centimeter wide. The leaves are

whitish-green. Sheaths glabrous; ligules shorter than 1 mm, of hairs; blades

flat, scabrous above. The inflorescence is a compact, spikelike panicle up

to 8 or 10 centimeters long. The green spikelets are smaller than those of

many other species, only about 2.5mm long, or 3/32nds of an inch. Sur-

rounding each spikelet are up to 12 yellow or purple bristles. The bristles

bear very tiny barbs pointed outward, toward the bristle's tip. The bristles

stay on the stalk after the seeds drop away. Marsh bristlegrass has achene-

type fruits. The root system is rhizomatous with short, knotty rhizomes.

 

REGENERATION PROCESS: Marsh bristlegrass propogates itself by

reseeding.

 

HABITAT TYPES: Moist, disturbed areas, roadsides, streambanks, canal

banks.  It also can grow in salty habitats such as salt marshes.

 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Marsh bristlegrass has a strong prefernce

for moist sites.

 

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Marsh bristlegrass flowers and seeds

from July to September.

 

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Marsh bristlegrass is found throughout

most the United States with the exceptions of the northern New England

states, and the upper Plains and upper Rocky Mountain states.

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:

 

Grass specimens can be found on trails marked in red.

 

       Bleak House
       Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
       South Ridge/North Ridge
       Gap Run
       Snowden
       Woodpecker Lane

       Sherman's Mill
       Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
       Fish Pond

 

The specific distribution of marsh bristlegrass has not been determined.

 

IMPORTANCES AND USES: The small grains dropped by all the foxtail species are favored by birds who forage on the ground, especially sparrows.

Rodents may also consume the seeds.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Grass Families and Species

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