Plants annual. Culms 50-200 cm; nodes pubescent. Sheaths
with ciliate margins distally; ligules about 1 mm, ciliate; blades
10-25 mm wide, plicate, both surfaces scabrous, adaxial surfaces with parallel
rows of papillose-based hairs. Panicles to 20 cm, open; branches
2-4 cm, axes villous; bristles solitary, usually only present below the
terminal spikelet on each branch, occasionally below non-terminal spikelets, 5-8
mm, flexible. Spikelets 2.5-3 mm. Lower glumes about 1 mm, orbicular,
3-5-veined; upper glumes about 2 mm, ovate, 7-veined; lower lemmas
about 2.5 mm, slightly coriaceous, acute; lower paleas about equaling the
lower lemmas in length and width; upper lemmas about 2.3 mm, strongly transversely
rugose; upper paleas enclosed. 2n = 54, 56.
Setaria barbata is an African species that was apparently introduced to
the Western Hemisphere from Asia. It is now common throughout the West Indies,
but rare in the Flora region.