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Common Name: Green Bristle Grass
Setaria viridis is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.45 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Europe to E. Asia - Japan. A casual in Britain[
Dry places and cultivated ground[
]. Mountain slopes, roadsides and grassy waste places throughout most of China[
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun[
This species is probably the parent of the cultivated millet, S. italica[
]. It is used in the same ways as rice or millet, either boiled, roasted or ground into a flour[
The seed (roasted?) is said to be a coffee substitute.
The seed is diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, refrigerant and tonic[
The plant is crushed and mixed with water then used as an external application in the treatment of bruises[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts. Whilst this is fine for small quantities, it would be an extremely labour intensive method if larger amounts were to be grown.
The seed can be sown in situ in the middle of spring though it is then later in coming into flower and may not ripen its seed in a cool summer.