Green Foxtail | TruGreen
Green Foxtail Illustration

Green Foxtail

Setaria viridis

Green Foxtail is a clump-forming annual grassy weed that is also known as Green Bristlegrass or by its scientific name, Setaria viridis. This lawn weed gets its name from the appearance of its seed head.








Green Foxtail can be identified as a bright green, clump-type annual grassy weed. It has a hairy, narrow collar with slightly compressed sheaths that are also hairy along the edges. This lawn weed has sharply pointed blades that are soft, flat and narrow at the base. Green Foxtail can also be identified by its seed head. It forms a soft, nodding, bushy spike and can be anywhere from green to purple in color.

Life Cycle

This grassy weed is common in croplands, turf grass areas, nurseries, lawns and landscaping. Green Foxtail can grow in many parts of North America, though it is a very common lawn weed throughout the cooler parts of the United States. These grassy weeds are also annuals, meaning they live for only one season and are typically easy to control because they lack the complex underground structures needed to spread new plant growth through creeping roots. Still, annuals produce tons of seeds that can infest and dominate your yard under the right conditions.

Life Cycle Image


A thick, dense, healthy lawn can provide a good defense against Green Foxtail. However, this grassy weed can produce thousands of seeds per year. Cultural weed control practices—such as hand-pulling lawn weeds and proper watering and mowing—must be consistent in order to work. For effective weed removal, professionally selected and applied weed control treatments are your best bet for eradication.


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