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Setaria palmifolia - (J.König) Stapf

Common Name Highland Pitpit. Palm Grass
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open forests, thicket margins, shady path sides[266 ].
Range E. Asia - southern China, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indo-China.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Setaria palmifolia Highland Pitpit. Palm Grass
Setaria palmifolia Highland Pitpit. Palm Grass - Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Setaria palmifolia is an evergreen Perennial growing to 3 m (9ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are 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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Agrostis plicata Lour. Chaetochloa effusa (E.Fourn.) Hitchc. Chaetochloa palmifolia (J.König) Hitchc. & Chase Chaetochloa sulcata (Aubl.) Hitchc. Chamaeraphis effusa (E.Fourn.) Kuntze Chamaeraphis nepalensis (Spreng.) Kuntze Chamaeraphis neurodes (F.W.Schultz) Kuntze Chamaeraphis palmifolia (K.D.Koenig) Kuntze Chamaeraphis paniculifera (Steud.) Kuntze Chamaeraphis sulcata (Aubl.) Kuntze Panicum amplissimum Steud. Panicum kleinianum Nees ex Andersson Panicum lene Steud. Panicum mexicanum Scribn. & Merr. Panicum nepalense Spreng. Panicum nervosum Roxb. Panicum neurodes Schult. Panicum palmatum R.Schleich. Panicum palmifolia J.König Panicum palmifolium J. König Panicum paniculiferum Steud. Panicum plicatum Roxb. Panicum plicatum Willd. Panicum sulcatum Aubl. Setaria effusa E.Fourn. Setaria lenis (Steud.) Miq. Setaria paniculifera (Steud.) E.Fourn. Setaria sulcata (Aubl.) Desv.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Seeds - boiled or roasted and used as a substitute for rice[301 ]. The hearts of young shoots can be eaten raw, steamed or cooked with rice[301 ]. Very young plants are eaten raw as a side dish with rice[301 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant is used medicinally[266 ].

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Other Uses

Cultivated as an ornamental plant for its palm-like pleated leaves. A folk belief in Taiwan holds that the number of latitudinal creases on the leaf predicts the number of typhoons that will hit the area in the coming or current typhoon season. It is known locally as typhoon grass.

Cultivation details

Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Balanced carb

Prefers a well-drained but moisture-retentive fertile soil[200 ]. Established plants are drought tolerant[423 ]. The plant has become a weed in many tropical areas[423 ].

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Seed - Division.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Short pitpit, Pleated pigeon-grass, Agusahis, Ayas-as, Highland pitpit, Lachang, Luluwan kebo, Palm grass, Zong ye gou wei cao, Palmgrass, hailans pitpit, broadleaved bristlegrass, knotroot. In Spanish it is called pasto de palma and in Samoan vao 'ofe 'ofe.

Found In

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

Africa, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Guianas, Guyana, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Taiwan, Tibet, USA, West Africa

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.

The plant has become a weed in many tropical areas[423 ]. Palm grass can form a total ground cover, preventing the growth and establishment of seedlings of any other species. Invasive, species in Australia, New Zealand, many Pacific Islands, and the Americas.

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Setaria italicaFoxtail Millet32
Setaria pumilaYellow Bristle Grass, Yellow foxtail, Cattail grass20
Setaria viridisGreen Bristle Grass22
Setaria viridis pycnocoma 20


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Expert comment


(J.König) Stapf

Botanical References

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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