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How to Identify Giant Foxtail

Giant Foxtail, Setaria faberi, is a non-native summer annual that can be found in every county in Illinois. It grows in disturbed habitats and it will grow between two and four feet tall. Its leaves are broad and it has a ligule made up of long white hairs. Giant Foxtail blooms in the summer, producing a spike inflorescence. Numerous small, round spikelets are densely packed into the inflorescence, and each of them is surrounded by a cluster of one to three bristles. The whole spike tends to nod to one side as it matures.

This video is part of the Grasses at a Glance series by Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension. Explore the playlist. Read our blog Grasses at a Glance.