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the web of life in southern Africa

Setaria verticillata (Bur-bristle grass)

‡areb [Nama]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Poales > Family: Poaceae

Setaria verticillata (Bur-bristle grass)

Setaria verticillata, Beaufort West region, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo H.G. Robertson, Iziko ©]


  • The Topnaar people in Namibia harvest the wild seeds of Setaria verticillata, and grind them up for making porridge.
  • The leaves of this grass are used by the Topnaar people for weaving hats.
  • In South Africa the seeds are used to produce a malt for beer making.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. & Gericke, N. 2000. People's Plants. A Guide to Useful Plants of Southern Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria.