millet

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millet,

common name for several species of grasses cultivated mainly for cereals in the Eastern Hemisphere and for forage and hay in North America. The principal varieties are the foxtail, pearl, and barnyard millets and the proso millet, called also broomcorn millet and hog millet. Much millet is grown in China, India, Manchuria, the USSR, and Africa. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) comprises 90% of the millets grown in the United States. Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) is the chief cereal in parts of Asia and Africa; in the United States it is used for feeding poultry and cage birds. Millet seeds or grain have served man and domestic animals as food (e.g., groats) since ancient times. The plant is known to have been grown by the lake dwellers of Switzerland in the Stone Age, and it was sown by the Chinese in religious ceremonies as early as 2700 B.C. Millets are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.

millet

[′mil·ət]
(botany)
A common name applied to at least five related members of the grass family grown for their edible seeds.

millet

1. a cereal grass, Setaria italica, cultivated for grain and animal fodder
2. 
a. an East Indian annual grass, Panicum miliaceum, cultivated for grain and forage, having pale round shiny seeds
b. the seed of this plant
3. any of various similar or related grasses, such as pearl millet and Indian millet

Millet

Jean Fran?ois . 1814--75, French painter of the Barbizon school, noted for his studies of peasants at work