Green foxtail is a clump-forming, erect summer annual grass that grows to 0.2-1 m in height; with characteristic "bottle-brush" or "foxtail" seedheads.
Reproduction is by seeds which germinate from late-spring through mid-summer.
The first blade is linear, about seven times longer than wide and opens somewhat parallel to the ground. Leaves are rolled in the bud; auricles are absent; and the ligule is a fringe of hairs (0.04-0.08 inches long) and dense.Juvenile Plant Description:
Leaf blades are linear, flat or folded (8-20 cm long, 3-10 mm wide), without hairs, but may be rough. The sheath may be keeled; margins and collar are hairy, or slightly hairy on lower sheaths.
Stems erect, hairless, bent at nodes, reaching 3 feet tall.
Root Structure Description:
Leaves in immature plants, leaf blades are linear, flat or folded (3.2 to 7.9 inches long, 0.1 to 0.4 inches wide), without hairs, but may be rough. The sheath may be kneeled; margins and collar are hairy, or slightly hairy on lower sheaths. Leaves on mature plants are without hairs on either surface of the blades. The culm is tufted, straight, or bent upward from the base, and lower nodes may have long hairs.
The root system is fibrous.
The seedhead is generally present from late summer through autumn.
Green foxtail is common throughout the United States and Canada, and it is an important weed worldwide.
Green foxtail is common in cultivated fields, as well as roadsides, ditches, gardens, etc. Seeds of giant foxtail are eaten by many species of birds; and the culms and leaves provide cover for pheasants, quail, etc. This weed is often troublesome in new grass seedings and in newly cultivated land that has been idle.
Similar SpeciesGiant foxtail, yellow foxtail, and foxtail millet are similar, but can be differentiated by the ligules, leaf sheaths, and hairs on the leaves.
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