Millet, the name of several quick-growing, small-seeded cereal and forage grasses, mostly annuals. Millet varies from 3 to 15 feet (90 cm-4.6 m) in height. Its small whitish flowers grow in clusters at the tops of the stems. The grain (seed) occurs in loose, bushy spikelets (seed heads) in some species, and in compact, cylindrical spikelets in others.Millet is an annual cereal and forage grass cultivated for its grain.
Broomcorn millet (or hog millet) is widely grown in Asia and southern Europe. The seed of pearl millet, a tall species grown in India and Africa, is used chiefly for making a highly nutritious flour. Among American species are common barnyard millet and foxtail millet, both used for hay.
One of the most ancient cereals, millet has been grown for several thousand years. It is still widely used as food, particularly in India, Japan, Korea, and China. In the United States, millet is used chiefly for summer pasture, and to a lesser extent for hay, poultry feed, and birdseed.
Broomcom millet is Panicum miliaceum; pearl, Pennisetum glaucum; barnyard, Echinochloa crusgalli; foxtail, Setaria italica. All belong to the grass family, Gramineae.