Setaria sphacelata

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Setaria sphacelata
Starr 090121-1149 Setaria sphacelata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Setaria
Species: S. sphacelata
Binomial name
Setaria sphacelata
(Schumach.) Stapf & C.E.Hubb. ex M.B.Moss
  • Chaetochloa aurea (A.Braun) Hitchc.
  • Panicum aureum (Hochst. ex A.Br.) Nees nom. illeg.
  • Panicum chrysanthum Steud.
  • Panicum rudimentosum Steud.
  • Panicum sphacelatum Schumach. nom. illeg.
  • Pennisetum aureum A.Rich. nom. illeg.
  • Setaria almaspicata de Wit
  • Setaria alpestris Peter
  • Setaria anceps Stapf
  • Setaria anceps Stapf ex Massey
  • Setaria angustifolia Stapf
  • Setaria aurea Hochst. ex A.Braun
  • Setaria bussei R.A.W.Herrm.
  • Setaria cana de Wit
  • Setaria chrysantha (Steud.) Heynh. nom. illeg.
  • Setaria decipiens de Wit nom. illeg.
  • Setaria flabellata Stapf
  • Setaria flabelliformis de Wit
  • Setaria homblei De Wild.
  • Setaria laxispica Stapf
  • Setaria myosuroides Peter
  • Setaria neglecta de Wit
  • Setaria perennis Hack. nom. illeg.
  • Setaria planifolia Stapf
  • Setaria rudimentosa (Steud.) T.Durand & Schinz
  • Setaria scalaris Peter
  • Setaria splendida Stapf
  • Setaria stenantha Stapf
  • Setaria stolzii Stapf
  • Setaria tenuispica Stapf & C.E.Hubb.
  • Setaria torta Stapf
  • Setaria trinervia Stapf

Setaria sphacelata is a tall African grass, also known as South African pigeon grass[2] and African bristlegrass.[3] It is native to tropical and subtropical Africa, and is extensively cultivated globally as a pasture grass and for cut fodder.[2][4] This is a rhizomatous perennial grass producing flattened, hairless, blue-green stems up to 2 m tall. The inflorescence is a dense, narrow panicle of bristly, orange-tinged spikelets up to 25 cm long.[2]

In Africa, Setaria sphacelata seed heads are an important food source for several bird species, including the long-tailed widowbird.[5]

Commercial cultivars have been developed for various climates and soil conditions. All cultivars are high in oxalate, making them generally unsuitable for horses. Recognised pests in cultivation include the buffel grass seed caterpillar (Mampava rhodoneura) and the fungus Pyricularia trisa.[6]

Setaria sphacelata has become naturalised in many countries and is a significant environmental weed in three Australian states.[2][4][7]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Weeds of Australia". Biosecurity Queensland. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Setaria". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Tropical Forages Factsheet". Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Hockey P., Dean W. and Ryan P. (2005). Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.
  6. ^ "Setaria for coastal pastures". NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Warblers in the Mist". Australian Rainforest Conservation Society. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 

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