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annual plant, genus Digitaria, of the grassgrass,
any plant of the family Poaceae (formerly Gramineae), an important and widely distributed group of vascular plants, having an extraordinary range of adaptation. Numbering approximately 600 genera and 9,000 species, the grasses form the climax vegetation (see ecology) in
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 family (Poaceoe). Native to Senegal, it is a type of milletmillet,
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
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 grown as a staple grain throughout the Sahel region of West Africa, where it has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. Its seeds are gluten free, a good source of protein, fiber, and iron, and contain significant amounts of methionine and cysteine, two amino acids missing from most other grains. Fonio is fast growing and drought resistant, and can be raised in infertile soil; up to three crops a year may be grown. The grain, whether white (D. exilis) or black (D. iburua), has a light texture and a nutty flavor. Fonio is 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.
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