November 2002    

Japanese Millet – Echinochloa crusgalli var. frumentacea

Origin: Asia 


Known as the "billion dollar grass," Japanese Millet is a wonderful wildlife plant. It is a favorite duck food and is eaten by 17 species of northeastern waterfowl. Game birds and many non-game birds such as sparrows, finches, and cardinals consume the seed and vegetative parts. Rabbits, deer and muskrats eat the leaves and seed heads.

This robust annual reaches heights of eight to forty inches, depending on the growing conditions. It matures in 60 to 90 days with flowering occurring from the end of June through October. Japanese Millet does well in wet soils but can also grow on well -drained soils.

 It should be planted in the spring, after the last frost. The seed can be drilled to a one inch depth in well-drained soil or broadcast on top of wet ground. Fertilization is needed only when it is grown for commercially for livestock feed.


As an added bonus for you, millet seed makes a perfect filling for organic pillows. Heat the pillows up in the microwave so that they radiate soothing warmth for relaxation. The fine millet seeds are less bulky and smoother than buckwheat seeds.