Foxtail Species-Group
Seeds & Seedlings
Grass (Graminaceae) Family


The soil seed-bud bank is the source of all weed problems, it is the focus of all weed management. One of the reasons the foxtails are so successful is they shed large numbers of seed that remain dormant in the soil, waiting for an opportunity. The foxtail seed that is shed every year in the seed rain is a heterogeneous mixture of dormancy phenotypes, meaning that each seed has slightly (or larger) differences in the ability to germinate. Some are very dormant and can remain in the soil for years. Other seeds in the seed rain can germinate immediately, or even before they land in the soil. The giant foxtail seedlings below germinated in a pollenation bag we (actually Milt Haar) placed over the panicle (seedhead) in our research nursury. Some of the seed germinated right in the bag during a rain storm, precocious germination:

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Giant foxtail seedlings:

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Actually most foxtail seedlings are very, very difficult to distinguish. Yellow foxtail seedlings have the long hairs at the leaf base (see leaf ID section), but otherwise it is often just seedlings of the foxtail species-group:


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Seed. Notice the glumes (brown papery envelopes around the seed) and setae (long hairs that make it a foxtail) in this yellow foxtail seed. Yellow foxtail seed are much larger than seed of the other foxtail species:

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Foxtail Species-Group | Leaves, Stems & Roots
Flowers & Seedheads | Foxtail Adaptation



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