Herb: Yellow Bristle Grass

Latin name: Setaria pumila

Synonyms: Setaria glauca, Setaria lutescens, Setaria pallide-fusca

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Edible parts of Yellow Bristle Grass:

Seed - cooked. It can be eaten as a sweet or savoury food in all the ways that rice is used, or ground into a powder and made into porridge, cakes, puddings etc. The seed contains about 11.5% protein, 6% fat, 40.7% carbohydrate, 8.2% fat. A dust from the fungal infection of plants is eaten.

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground, cultivated fields and lowland all over Japan.

Propagation of Yellow Bristle Grass:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts. Whilst this is fine for small quantities, it would be an extremely labour intensive method if larger amounts were to be grown. The seed can be sown in situ in the middle of spring though it is then later in coming into flower and may not ripen its seed in a cool summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste ground, cultivated fields and lowland all over Japan.

Medicinal use of Yellow Bristle Grass:

None known

Known hazards of Setaria pumila:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.