Setaria viridis (green brittle grass, bottle grass, pigeongrass, wild millet)

description:  summer annual

place of origin: Eurasia

urban habitat: roadsides, vacant lots, pavement cracks, along railroad tracks, highway banks, cultivated landscapes, gravel, spreads rapidly in disturbed areas; thrives in compacted soil in full sun; tolerant of roadway salt.

ecological function:
disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground; food for wildlife and livestock.

history: Setaria viridis was introduced into North America from Europe in the early 1800’s as a forage grass. It is now found on most continents and is considered a noxious weed in many places. Green foxtail has a long history of medicinal use in Asia and Europe, used as treatment for fever, bruises, to induce urination, and as a general tonic. Its seed has been used as a grain much like rice or millet and ground into flour. Its roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute.