Plants annual. Culms to 6 m tall, 2-3 cm thick at the base. Sheaths
glabrous, smooth or scabrous, margins villous distally; ligules 1-2 mm,
ciliate; blades to 60 cm long, to 3.5 cm wide, flat. Panicles to
50 cm long, to 5 cm wide, densely spikelike; rachises densely villous;
bristles 1 or 2, 10-20 mm, flexible, antrorsely scabrous. Spikelets
about 2 mm, disarticulating between the lower and upper florets. Lower glumes
1/3 as long as the spikelets, 3-veined; upper glumes equaling the lower
lemmas, 7-veined; lower florets often staminate; lower lemmas slightly
exceeding the upper lemmas; lower paleas equaling the lower lemmas, broad,
hyaline, minutely pubescent over the veins; upper lemmas smooth and shiny
brown; upper paleas similar to the upper lemmas. 2n = 36.
Setaria magna grows in saline marshes along the eastern coast of the United
States. There are also disjunct populations in brackish swamps in Arkansas, and
in Texas and southeastern New Mexico as well as in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bermuda,
Mexico, and Costa Rica. It may have been recently introduced to some of these
regions, including inland areas of the Flora region.
Coarse annual 1-4(-6) m, often branched above, scabrous below the infl and below the smooth nodes; sheaths villous along the margins above; blades flat, scaberulous (especially above and along the cartilaginous margins), up to 60 נ3.5 cm; infl cylindric, to 4.5 dm, curved or nodding, often interrupted near the base, its axis scabrous and densely villous; spikelets 1.8-2.5 mm, each subtended by 1 or 2 antrorsely scabrous bristles 1-2 cm; first glume 3-veined, a third as long as the spikelet; second glume 7-veined, about equaling the fertile lemma; sterile lemma slightly exceeding the fertile one, 5- or 7- veined, with an ovate, hyaline palea the same length, sometimes staminate; fertile lemma concealed by the second glume and sterile lemma, smooth, shiny, brownish, disarticulating above the more persistent glumes and sterile lemma; 2n=36. Coastal salt-marshes from N.J. to Fla. and Tex., and intr. in W.I. and C. Amer.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.