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a genus of plants of the family Gramineae. The plants are perennial or annual herbs with flat leaf blades. The inflorescence is a cylindrical or, less commonly, somewhat lobular spicate panicle with very short branchlets. The spikelets are two-flowered and surrounded by rough bristles, or setae.
There are more than 120 species, distributed in tropical, subtropical, warm-temperate, and—to a lesser extent—temperate regions. The USSR has nine species. Particularly widely distributed are S. glauca and S. viridis, both of which are weeds that contaminate mainly spring crops, for example, millet. The plants occur along garden paths, in sands along rivers, in gravelly areas, and in pine forests. Young plants serve as pasturage for all domestic animals; the grain is readily eaten by domestic fowl. The genus includes a number of important cultivated crops, for example, several varieties of foxtail millet (S. italica).
REFERENCEKott, S. A. Sornye rasteniia i bor’ba s nimi, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
T. V. EGOROVA