Haarästige proso millet ( Panicum capillare )

The Rispenhirsen or only millet ( Panicum ) are a genus of grasses ( Poaceae ). The proso millet ( Panicum miliaceum ) is or was an important crop.


The Rispenhirsen are annuals or perennials. Your leaf sheaths are hairy open and often protrude to the bottom. The ligule is a membranous and ciliated hem or a lash. The leaf blades are usually flat, rarely folded or ciliated.

The inflorescence is a spreading to contracted panicle. It is floriferous, to mature towards most overhanging. The spikelets are two flowered, the lower flower is often stunted or male. The top flower is hermaphrodite. The spikelets compressed dorsally or terete, it falls as a whole. Awns are absent. The two glumes are membranous, the lower is significantly shorter than the spikelet, sometimes stunted, the upper one is the same length as the spikelet. The lemma of the lower floret is membranous and is similar to the glumes. The lemma of the hermaphrodite flower is distinctly arched, crop maturity it is thickened cartilaginous. The palea is also thickened cartilaginous to maturity, she has two broad, thin-skinned faces. There are three stamens. The ovary is bald and wears two pen, stick out their scars below the floral lace on the side of the spikelets.

The fruits are tightly enclosed by the cover and the palea. On the side where the embryo is located, the fruit is convex, on the hub side is flattened.


The genus is mainly located in tropical and warm temperate regions.


The genus Panicum belongs within the family Poaceae in the subfamily Panicoideae, Tribe Paniceae.

There are around 500 species of which occur in Europe, only four naturally. Some species were introduced to Europe.

The occurring in Central Europe species are:

  • Haarästige proso millet ( Panicum capillare L.), Origin: America, cultivated as an ornamental grass and wild
  • Late - proso millet ( Panicum dichotomiflorum Michx. ), Neophyte from Argentina since about 1980
  • Gattinger - proso millet ( Panicum gattingeri Nash )
  • Hillman - proso millet ( Panicum hillmanii Chase ), a neophyte in North America since c.1970
  • Straight - proso millet or South African millet ( Panicum laevifolium hack. ), Neophyte from South Africa since about 1980.
  • Proso millet ( Panicum miliaceum L.), probably originates from Southeast Asia, is cultivated worldwide
  • Riverside proso millet ( Panicum riparium H. Scholz )
  • Switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.), Origin: North and Central America, cultivated as an ornamental grass

Other species outside of Central Europe are (selection):

  • Panicum antidotale Retz, home. India, Arabia, naturalized in Australia
  • Panicum bulbosum Kunth, Origin: USA, Mexico
  • Deer tongue proso millet ( Panicum clandestinum L.), Origin: Canada and USA
  • Colorful Guinea grass ( Panicum coloratum L.), Origin: South Africa
  • Guinea grass ( Panicum maximum Jacq. ), Origin: Africa, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands, also occurs in Sicily, naturalized in America
  • Kutki millet ( Panicum Roth ex Roem sumatrense. & Schult. ), India and Sri Lanka in culture

Panicum is an ancient plant name and is derived from Latin Panus = " panicle of sorghum ."


The proso millet is nowadays mainly cultivated in Asia as a grain. Panicum Panicum turgidum are laetum and harvested in the Sahel as a wild cereal.


  • Siegmund Seybold (ed.): Schmeil Fitschen - interactive ( CD -Rom ), Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2001/2002, ISBN 3-494-01327-6
  • Walter Erhardt et al: The big walleye. Encyclopedia of plant names. Volume 2 Eugen Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart, 2008. ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7