- At the beginning of the green millet’s life cycle the seed will begin to grow, or germinate, in the soil.
- Next, the plant will emerge above the soil as a seedling. Watch for the emergence of the first few leaf blades during this stage.
- For the next few weeks the plant will go through vegetative growth, increasing in height and the number of leaf blades and tillers.
- After vegetative growth, the plant will develop panicles, which contain the reproductive structures of the plant. The flowers will open, and pollen will be released during anthesis. The green millet is self-pollinating, so after fertilization, the flower closes. The flowers on the green millet are very tiny and are not open for very long- so if you want to see them look closely!
- After the flowers close, the panicles develop seeds. The plant now goes into senescence, where the leaf blades start to turn brown and the plant dries down. At the end of the plant’s life cycle, the panicle shatters and drops the seeds, and the plant dies.
- The new seeds now go into a dormant phase, which usually prevents the seeds from germinating during winter. When cold temperatures break the dormancy, the seed will then germinate and grow into a new seedling. In the laboratory, we can break the dormancy of seeds a few different ways including putting the seeds in the freezer, or treating them with liquid smoke.
The green millet is an annual plant, meaning that they complete their life cycle in one growing season (which is not necessarily one year). Other grass species are perennials, which means that they continue to grow over many growing seasons.