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Panicum miliaceum - L.

Common Name European Millet
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Waste places in Britain[17].
Range Probably eastern Asia, but it has been in cultivation so long that the original range is obscure.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Panicum miliaceum European Millet
Panicum miliaceum European Millet


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Panicum miliaceum is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Panicum milliaceum


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked as a whole grain or ground into a powder and used as a flour for making breads, pasta and fermented foods such as 'tempeh'[2, 34, 183]. A nutty flavour, it is more easily digested than many cereals because its high alkaline content counteracts acids[183]. It is also free of gluten and so, although bread made from it does not rise, the cereal is suitable for people with coeliacs disease or other gluten intolerances[K]. The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc[183]. The seed contains about 10% protein, 4% fat[61].

Medicinal Uses

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The seed is cooling and demulcent[218]. The cooked seed is applied as a poultice for abscesses, sores etc whilst juice from chewed seeds is applied to children's sores[218]. The seed is also incinerated and mixed with oil then used as a poultice that is said to heal sores without leaving a scar[218]. A decoction of the root is used as an antidote to poisoning by Momordica spp, it is also used to treat haematuria in women and as a bath for skin eruptions[218].

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Other Uses

A starch from the seed is a substitute for corn starch (Zea mays). It is used for sizing textiles[114]. The leaves are a source of fibre used in paper making[74].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1]. Tolerates heat and also drought when it is established[1]. European millet is frequently cultivated in warm temperate and sub-tropical zones for its edible seed, there are many named varieties[57, 183]. Cultivation in Britain is somewhat problematic, the plants require good summers to do well and a dry period in late summer is required in order to ripen and dry the seed. We have had fairly good results on our trial grounds in Cornwall by starting the seed off early in a greenhouse, though this is a fairly labour-intensive method and therefore much less efficient than growing the more traditional temperate zone cereals[K]. Yields are also considerably lower than other cereals that can be grown in this country, although the nutritional value of millets is said to be superior to wheat, oats, etc[K].

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Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a week. Prick out the seedlings into trays or individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts[200, K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Broom Millet, , Baragu, Broomcorn millet, Cheen, Cheena, Chena, Chenaa, Chino, Dokhan, Echte Hirse, European millet, Ji, Kadukanni, Ke, Kibi, Meneri, Miglio, Mijo, Mil, Milho miudo, Milium, Millet Panic, Nage, Panivaragu, Shu, Varagalu, Vari, Variga, Varo, brown millet, chinese millet, common millet, common millet, proso millet|wal meneri, french millet, gijang, hirs, little millet, millet, panic faux-millet, panicum millet, proso millet, red millet, white french millet, white millet.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Afghanistan, Africa, Albania, Armenia, Asia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Britain, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Central Africa, China, Congo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, East Africa, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europe, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guiana, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kyrgyrstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Manchuria, Mauritius, Mediterranean, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Niger, North Africa, North America, Northeastern India, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Siberia, Slovakia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, West Africa, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
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Panicum decompositumNative Millet, Australian milletPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHNM20 
Panicum maximumGuinea grass. Green panic grassPerennial2.0 10-12 FLMFSNDM122
Panicum obtusumVine MesquitePerennial0.8 -  LMHNM20 
Panicum sonorumSauwi, Mexican panicgrassAnnual1.0 0-0  LMHNDM20 
Panicum turgidumDesert Grass. Turgid panic grass, AfezuPerennial1.5 10-12 FLMNDM202
Panicum urvilleanumDesert PanicgrassPerennial1.0 -  LMHNDM20 
Panicum virgatumSwitch GrassPerennial1.8 10-12 FLMNDM002


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Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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