Plants perennial. Culms 100-200 cm, nodes villous. Sheaths
sparsely strigose or glabrous; ligules about 2 mm, of hairs; blades
40-60 cm long, 20-80 mm wide, strongly plicate, with scattered hairs on each
surface. Panicles 30-60 cm, lanceoloid; branches 2-5 cm, stiff;
bristles solitary, usually present only below the terminal spikelet on
each branch, occasionally below non-terminal spikelets, 1-1.5 cm. Spikelets
3-3.5 mm. Lower glumes1/2 as long as the spikelets, 3-veined; upper
glumes 2/3 as long as the spikelets, 5-7-veined; lower lemmas equaling
the upper lemmas, 5-veined; lower paleas absent or reduced to a small
scale; upper lemmas about 3 mm, nearly smooth, shiny. 2n = 54.
Setaria megaphylla is a species of tropical Africa and tropical America
that has become established in Florida. Hitchcock (1951) stated that S. poiretiana
(Schult.) Kunth was occasionally cultivated in the United
States, but he was referring to S. megaphylla.
Plants perennial. Culms 1-2 m. Sheaths
strigose, margins with stiff hairs; collars hispid; ligules about
2 mm, of hairs; blades to 50 cm long, 20-80 mm wide, plicate, tapering
at both ends, abaxial surfaces sparsely strigose, adaxial surfaces short pubescent
near the base. Panicles to 40 cm, open; branches 6-10 cm, loosely
flexible, axes scabrous; bristles solitary, usually present only below
the terminal spikelet on each branch, occasionally below non-terminal spikelets,
about 5 mm. Spikelets 3-4 mm, elliptic, acuminate. Lower glumes
1/2 as long as the spikelets, obtuse, 3-4-veined; upper glumes nearly
equaling the upper lemmas, 7-veined, acute; lower lemmas exceeding the
upper lemmas, 5-veined, apices involute; lower paleas nearly equaling
the lower lemmas in length and width; upper lemmas obscurely transversely
rugose, yellow, apiculate. 2n = 54.
Setaria palmifolia is primarily an Asiatic species. It is a common species
in Jamaica, and has been reported from scattered locations around the southern
coast of the United States. In the Flora region it is occasionally cultivated
as an ornamental for the conspicuous, plicate leaves and large panicles. In
Southeast Asia the grains are eaten as a substitute for rice and the tender,
thickened shoots as a vegetable.