The following quote is from the short story 1934年的逃亡 by Su Tong.


What does it mean to grow a Setaria_viridis in one's heart?

4 Answers 4


狗尾巴草 is a kind of weed against which peasants need to fight all the time, and it is famous for its strong vitality. So peasants and poets see 狗尾巴草 as a tough enemy. For a long time, 狗尾巴草 is called 莠 and had appeared in ancient poems and articles. Of course, its image is bad and negative.

In the paragraph you mentioned, 灰暗 plus 狗尾巴草 together imply evil thoughts.

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    Yes, these weeds are like politicians; the more you hate them, the faster they grow. Jun 15, 2022 at 3:13

狗尾巴草 Setaria viridis ,古稱「莠」,令人想到「良莠不齊」

Therefore, 在人們心中印象便是不好


The hidden meanings of 狗尾草 are as follow:


If you read through the story, you shall be able to pick one implication that fits the best.




We can take the whole phrase to mean a sin growing from the bottom of his heart.

灰暗的狗尾巴草 just gives us a bad feeling/impression about his mind and here is metaphorically representing a (dark)sin.

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