Scientific Name:
Setaria P.Beauv., Ess. Agrostogr. 51, 178 (1812)
  • = Chaetochloa Scribn. (1897) nom. rej.
Vernacular Name(s):
Pigeon grass

Usually tufted annuals or perennials, of medium height. Leaf-sheath open, or closed near base, often keeled. Ligule a ciliate rim. Leaf-blade flat to folded, rolled in bud. Culm erect, or ascending from geniculate base. Inflorescence usually an erect, dense, cylindric, spike-like panicle, or more branched and open, each spikelet subtended by one to several persistent scabrid bristles (Ø branchlets) almost to entirely suppressed in plants with plicate leaves (). Spikelets 2-flowered, usually falling entire at maturity; lower floret ♂ or Ø, upper floret ☿. Glumes membranous, unequal, glabrous, lower generally the shorter, upper ≤ spikelet. Lower floret: lemma of same texture as glumes, = spikelet, dorsally flattened to slightly depressed; palea sometimes 0. Upper floret: lemma ≤ spikelet, crustaceous, often rugose, naviculate; palea ≈ lemma and similar in texture; lodicules 2, broadly cuneate, rather fleshy; stamens 3; styles free; caryopsis tightly enclosed by hardened anthoecium, embryo c. ½ length of caryopsis, hilum basal, punctiform or orbicular.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]

Number of species in New Zealand within Setaria P.Beauv.
Exotic: Fully Naturalised6
Exotic: Casual1
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Morrone, O.; Aliscioni, S.S.; Veldkamp, J.F.; Pensiero, J.F.; Zuloaga, F.O.; Kellogg, E.A. 2014: Revision of the Old World Species of Setaria (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 96: 1–161.
Palisot de Beauvois, A.M.F.J. 1812: Essai d'une Nouvelle Agrostographie. Paris.