🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Setaria verticillata

Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country. 
- William Jennings Bryan 


Cluster grass (Setaria verticillata) in my garden in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. It is an indigenous Spike grass and a weedy species. 

Afrikaans - Trosgras 
Camera FujiFinepix 2800Zoom 

I just LOVE this indigenous grass that took root in a corner of my garden. The birds actually go mad for it and it is such a delight to watch them hanging upside-down, picking at the seeds! It makes a lovely little display in that one corner and it also saves on buying seeds! 

This grass grows in weak tufts that can reach up to 1m, but are usually about 250mm high. Leaves are soft, hairy, pliable and few in number, giving the plant a rather loose, open appearance. Inflorescences are fairly short and distinctly spike-shaped. Neighbouring plants tend to become entangled in the finely barbed bristles of these spikes, creating the impression that they are 'sticky'. They flower from mid-summer to June. 

Occurs almost everywhere except for arid areas in Namaqualand and parts of the Eastern Cape. Seeds of the grass are used to make beer in South Africa and porridge in Namibia and has been used as a famine food in India. 





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