Wild Proso Millet

Panicum miliaceum

Keys to Identification

  • Seed coat stays attached to the fibrous root system
  • Hollow stems branch at base

Family

Poaceae – Grass Family

Other Names

Broomcorn millet, proso, wild millet, black seeded proso millet, broom corn, hog millet, common millet

USDA Code

PAM12

Legal Status

Colorado Noxious Weed List C

Identification

Lifecycle

Annual

Growth form

Grass

Flower

Arranged in a large, open panicle, 4-12 inches long. Spikelets on the panicle are ¼ – ½ inch long, two flowered with the upper flower of the spikelet fertile, and the lower spikelet sterile. July-fall

Seeds/Fruit

Seeds are shiny, brown to black. Each plant may produce 400-2100 seeds. Viable for 5+ years.  Wild proso millet has dark seeds, the cultivated varieties have light colored seeds

Leaves

Leaves alternate along stem and are covered with short stiff hairs. On foot long and 1/2-3/4 inch wide.  Leaves are wide spreading or arching and have a short lingule and no auricles  

Stems

2-6-foot-tall erect stems that branch near the base

Roots

Shallow, fibrous roots plus some tillers

Seedling

Can be confused with young corn plants

Similar Species

Exotics

 

Natives

 

Impacts

Agricultural

Weedy or invasive in crops. A rapidly growing, vigorous, prolific seed producer that has developed some herbicide resistance.  Similar to several other millets grown for livestock and birdseed in the US

Ecological

Weedy biotypes of wild proso millet can produce a long-term seed bank

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements

Cropland, fallow land, rights-of-way, wasteland, near bird feeders

Distribution

Found in parts of the US

Historical

Was originally cultivated in Eastern Asia, later spreading to India, Russia, the Middle East, and Europe

Biology/Ecology

Life cycle

Warm season annual grass

Mode of reproduction

Seed

References

Colorado Department of Agriculture – Wild Proso millet fact sheet – https://www.colorado.gov/ag/weeds

USDA PLANTS Database – https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?sybol=PAM12

USDA plant guide – https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_pami2.pdf

BugwoodWiki – https://wiki.bugwood.org/HPIPM:Wild_proso_millet

Missouri State University- Pamela Borden Trewatha – Midwest Weeds https://courses.missouristate.edu/pbtrewatha/wild_proso_millet.htm

EDDMap – https://www.eddmaps.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=6139

 

 

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