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How to Identify Yellow Foxtail

Yellow Foxtail, Setaria pumila, is a non-native summer annual found across Illinois in disturbed habitats. It grows between one and three feet tall and its stem is a bit flattened. The leaf sheaths are keeled, looking like they have a crease from being folded in half. Sometimes you can find long hairs at the base of the leaf blades in addition to the hairy ligule.

Yellow Foxtail produces a spike inflorescence that is densely packed with round spikelets. Each of these spikelets is surrounded by a grouping of 5 to 15 bristles.

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.