Ontario Weeds: Bristly foxtail

 

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

 

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Habitat
  7. Similar Species
  8. Related Links

Name: Bristly foxtail, Setaria verticillata (L.) Beauv.,

Other Names: sétaire verticilée, Bristle grass, Catch grass, Garden grass

Family: Grass Family (Gramineae)

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Bristly Foxtail

Bristly Foxtail

Green foxtail. A. Plant with stem folded twice. B. Leaf bse. C. Spike. Bristly foxtail. D. Leaf-base. E. Spike. F. Cluster of 3 spikelets and 6 bristles with backward-pointing barbs.

Green foxtail. A. Plant with stem folded twice. B. Leaf bse. C. Spike. Bristly foxtail. D. Leaf-base. E. Spike. F. Cluster of 3 spikelets and 6 bristles with backward-pointing barbs.


Stem and leaf-base characteristics of a typical grass.

Stem and leaf-base characteristics of a typical grass.

Stems & Roots: Stems, leaves and general habit of growth very similar to those of Green foxtail. The spike is "interrupted," the clusters of spike-lets being somewhat separated from one another along the central stalk. The greenish bristles are covered with tiny, sharp, backward-pointing barbs and these cause the whole spike to cling to the skin, hair, other spikes and, indeed, any rough surface (hence the name "bristly"). When the stems are whipped around by the wind and the spikes touch each other, they cling together in a tangled mass. Its "seeds" are about the same size, shape and colour as those of Green foxtail.

Habitat: Bristly foxtail is less abundant than Green foxtail, occurring in scattered localities throughout the southern part of Ontario but apparently not reported in the north or northwest. Although it is usually found in wastelands and gardens, its occurrence in cultivated fields is on the increase, especially in the southwestern part of the province.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by it somewhat "interrupted" spike and by the backward-pointing barbs on the bristles which cause the heads to stick together or cling to skin, clothes or fur.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

 

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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 01 June 2002
Last Reviewed: 01 November 2003