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Identifying Grass Seedlings

Foxtail, green (Setaria viridis)

Summer annual grasses


Green foxtail is an erect-growing grass that reaches a height of 1–2 feet. Auricles are absent, the ligule is a tuft of hair, and sheaths are nearly round and lined with hairs. The blades are hairless with a rough texture and are 4–10 mm wide.

Mature green foxtailMature green foxtail.

Collar region SeedheadCollar region: hairy ligule.
Right, seedhead.


Green foxtail commonly occurs in cultivated fields, pasture, waste ground, landscapes and any open area with nutrient-rich soil.


Green foxtail is found throughout Missouri and the United States.

Similar species

Giant foxtail also has a hairy ligule, but it is covered with hair on the upper leaf surface. Yellow foxtail has a hairy ligule but only a few sparse, long hairs along the base of the upper leaf surface. The stems of yellow foxtail are flat.


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IPM1024 Identifying Grass Seedlings | Page 8 | University of Missouri Extension