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This is one of the tallest woodland grasses during the spring and early summer. It usually occurs as scattered plants, rather than in dense colonies. Because of its size and general appearance, Millet Grass superficially resembles Stout Wood Reed (Cinna arundinacia), but the latter is slower to develop and its spikelets disarticulate below the glumes. Because of its single-flowered ellipsoid spikelets, Millet Grass also resembles some panic grasses (Panicum spp.), but the latter have spikelets with unequal-sized glumes. Unlike Millet Grass, the smaller glumes of panic grasses are much shorter than their spikelets. In addition to these grasses, Millet Grass should not be confused with cultivated millet, which refers to several grasses of the Old World. Some of the most common cultivated millets include Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum), Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum), Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica), and Japanese Millet (Echinochloa esculenta). Other common names of Milium effusum include Tall Millet Grass and Wood Millet. This is the only grass species of this genus in Illinois.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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