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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Robert E. Preston & Robert Webster

Annual, perennial herb. Stem: generally erect; internode solid to hollow inside. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath generally glabrous, margins occasionally scabrous or ciliate; ligule short-hairy or membranous, ciliate; blade glabrous, scabrous, or hairy on one or both surfaces. Inflorescence: panicle-like, dense, generally cylindric; 1° branches spreading to appressed; spikelets many, generally clustered on one side of short 2° branches, short-stalked to subsessile, subtended by 1–15 bristles, bristles generally scabrous. Spikelet: falling as 1 unit, generally elliptic; glumes unequal; florets generally 2, ± equal, lower floret sterile or staminate, palea generally < lemma, upper floret fertile, firm, generally hard, rough, margin inrolled, tip blunt.
± 140 species: warm temperate, tropical Eurasia, Africa. (Latin: bristly) [Rominger 2003 FNANM 25:539–558] Some species cultivated for food. Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv., millet, common component of birdseed, occasionally collected but not persisting. Setaria megaphylla (Steud.) T. Durand & Schinz, Setaria verticilliformis Dumort. recorded in California from a few sites, but do not appear to be naturalized.

Key to Setaria

1. Bristles at base of spikelets with short stiff hairs pointed toward base

2. Leaf sheath margins glabrous; leaf blade sparsely hairy abaxially ..... S. adhaerens

2' Leaf sheath margins ciliate; leaf blade scabrous abaxially ..... S. verticillata

1' Bristles at base of spikelets with short stiff hairs pointed toward tip

3. Upper glume ± = upper lemma; upper lemma ± smooth, dull or shiny

4. Spikelet ± 2 mm; panicle 3–8 cm; leaf blades 3–12 mm wide ..... S. viridis

4' Spikelet 2.5–3 mm; panicle 8–30 cm; leaf blades 10–30 mm wide ..... S. faberi

3' Upper glume < upper lemma; upper lemma strongly ridged

5. Rhizomes absent; upper glume <= 0.5 × upper lemma; spikelet generally > 2.8 mm, generally 1.5–2 mm wide ..... S. pumila subsp. pumila

5' Rhizomes present; upper glume > 0.5 × upper lemma; spikelet generally < 2.8 mm, generally <= 1.5 mm wide

6. Panicle < 10 cm, 3–4 mm wide; bristles green or straw-colored; stigma dark brown or purple; base of flowering stems with hard, knot-like swellings ..... S. parviflora

6' Panicle > 10 cm, 4–6 mm wide; bristles generally orange; stigma pale; base of flowering stems not swollen ..... S. sphacelata


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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