Setaria italica (L.) P.Beauv.

Italian Millet

Ess. Agroslogr. 51, 170 178 (1812) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tufted annual, sometimes purplish overall. Culms erect, to 1.5 m high. Leaves glabrous, or the sheath-margins ciliate; blade flat, scabrous, to 30 cm long and 30 mm wide; ligule 1–2 mm long. Panicle cylindric, 3–18 cm long, up to 3 cm wide, very dense, often `lumpy', blanches spreading, 10–25 mm long, or not developed. Spikelets blunt, gaping, 2.4–3 mm long, most subtended by a single antrorsely barbed bristle 5–15 mm long; lower glume 3–5-nerved, ovate, from one-third to one-half as long as spikelet, usually inserted distinctly below upper glume; upper glume 5–7-nerved, elliptic, obtuse, slightly shorter than spikelet; lower floret neuter, its lemma subequal to spikelet, its palea rudimentary or lacking; fertile lemma blunt, usually shortly exceeding other segments, dorsally rounded, smooth to granular, usually yellowish, falling separately (with palea), leaving glumes and lower floret attached (but these also fall later). Flowers Feb.–Apr.

*GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *NIS, *VRiv, *VVP. Naturalised in all states except NT. Apparently derived from S. viridis and cultivated for its superior yield and grain. Uncommon and of scattered occurrence in Victoria, most collections attributable to scattered seed around birdcages or grain handling and transport areas.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2016-04-12
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Setaria
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Setaria italica in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Setaria italica in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory