Table 1. Characteristics of Bristly, Green, Yellow, and Giant Foxtail1
Name Leaf blade Ligule Seed head Stem Other
Bristly foxtail
S. verticillata
10-40 mm long.
5-20 mm wide.
Sometimes hairy at base.
1-2.2 mm.
Fringed membrane.
2-11 cm long.
0.6-1.5 cm wide.
Glabrous, many branches at base, round. Seed head bristles downward.
Green foxtail
S. viridis
30 cm long.
5-15 mm wide.
No hairs.
2 mm long.
Membrane fringed with hairs.

Cylindrical panicle tapering to head.
2-15 cm long.
1-1.5 cm wide.

Glabrous and possibly bent at the nodes and round.
Also maybe branched at base.
3 or less bristles per spikelet.
Yellow foxtail
S. glauca
30 cm long.
4-10 mm wide.
Hairs at base to mid way up the leaf.
2 mm long.
Membrane fringed with hairs.
Cylindrical panicle.
3-15 cm long.
Can be yellowish when mature.

20-130 cm long.

5 or more bristles per spikelet.
Giant foxtail
S. faberi
10-30 cm long.
3-20 mm wide.
Hairy upperside.

1.5-2 mm long.
Membrane fringed with hairs.

5-20 cm long.
1-2.5 cm wide.
Cylindrical panicle.
Generally nodding.
Round 3-6 bristles per spikelet.
Nodding seed head.
1Information referenced from the Southern Weed Science Society's Weed I.D. book and can be obtained through:
Weed Science Society of America, PO Box 1897, Lawrence, KS 66044-8897.