Japanese Millet
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Japanese Millet
A Native Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Japanese Millet, Japanese Barnyard Millet, billion dollar grass • Hindi: Banti • Kannada: Kaadu haaraka hullu • Marathi: Jangli sama, Samul • Sanskrit: Syamaka • Tamil: Chamai, Kudiravalli pulllu, Rail pullu
Botanical name: Echinochloa frumentacea    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Panicum crus-galli var. edule

Japanese Millet is a robust annual herb with stems 30-150 cm high, erect. Leaf-blades often broad, 5-30 cm long, 3-20 mm wide; ligule absent; sheaths hairless. Flower-clusters are lanceshaped, 6-20 cm long, the racemes several-rowed with crowded spikelets, 1-3 cm long, simple, closely spaced and overlapping. Spikelets are broadly elliptic to rotund, 2.5-3.5 mm long, plump and sometimes gaping, tardily deciduous, mostly yellowish or pallid, velvet-hairy to bristly; lower lemma pointed; upper lemma 2-3 mm long. Japanese Millet is found in Tropical East Africa, India, Pakistan and Australia. This millet is widely grown as a cereal in India, Pakistan, and Nepal.

Identification credit: Manoj Chandran Photographed in cultivation in Nasik, Maharashtra.

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