Toxic Parts:
soluble oxalates
Flower Color:
  • flower color
meadows, haybales

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Setaria distribution - United States

Related Species


Setaria sphacelata

African Bristlegrass, Golden Bristle Grass, Golden Millet, South African Pigeon Grass, Rhodesian Grass, Capim-setária, Napierzinho
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Setaria (Setaria sphacelata) is a tall tropical perennial forage that is native to Africa. S. sphacelata has been introduced and is now widespread in most tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. It has multiple subspecies and is often used for pasture grass for other livestock. S. sphacelata has a cylindrical spike-like panicle with an inflorescence structure that varies in color from brown to purplish brown.

Toxic components
All parts of S. sphacelata have the potential to accumulate high levels of oxalates (4.5%-6.7% of DM in 3-week regrowth). Such high levels of oxalates off balance the Ca:P ratio, resulting in nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (also known as 'big head disease'. Mares and foals are the most susceptible and symptoms can develop within 2 months of grazing. Osteodystrophy in horses has been associated with prolonged ingestion of S. sphacelata containing moderate (5%) concentrations of oxalates.