Moench 1794, conserved name not Sorgum Adanson 1763
Sorghum is a genus of plants in the grass family. Most species are native to Australia, with some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
One species is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warm climates worldwide and naturalized in many places. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).
Cultivation and uses
One species, Sorghum bicolor, native to Africa with many cultivated forms now, is an important crop worldwide, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or "sorghum molasses"), fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Most varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions, where the grain is one of the staples for poor and rural people. These varieties form important components of pastures in many tropical regions. S. bicolor is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia, and is the "fifth-most important cereal crop grown in the world".
Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine, and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plants' growth. When stressed by drought or heat, plants can also contain toxic levels of cyanide and/or nitrates at later stages in growth.
S. vulgare var. technicum is commonly called broomcorn. An annual grass like other Sorghums, it grows 6 to 15 feet (1.8 to 4.6 m) tall, although dwarf varieties are only 3 to 7 feet (0.91 to 2.13 m) in height. The upper peduncle is normally 8 to 18 inches (200 to 460 mm) long, topped by a branched inflorescence or panicle, from which the seed-bearing fibers originate. The fibers are usually 12 to 24 inches (300 to 610 mm) long, but can be up to 36 inches (910 mm) long; they are branched toward the tip where the flowers and seed grow. The seeds number about 30,000/lb (70,000/kg), with feed value similar to oats. A ton of the fibrous panicle makes 900 to 1200 brooms.
Plants selected for long panicle branches probably originated in central Africa, but the variety was known to be used for broom-making in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. It was first described in Italy in the late 1500s.
- Sorghum amplum - northwestern Australia
- Sorghum angustum - Queensland
- Sorghum arundinaceum - Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar, islands of western Indian Ocean
- Sorghum bicolor — cultivated sorghum, often individually called sorghum, also known as durra, jowari, or milo. - native to Sahel region of Africa; naturalized in many places
- Sorghum brachypodum - Northern Territory of Australia
- Sorghum bulbosum - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum burmahicum - Thailand, Myanmar
- Sorghum controversum - India
- Sorghum × drummondii - Sahel + West Africa
- Sorghum ecarinatum - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum exstans - Northern Territory of Australia
- Sorghum grande - Northern Territory, Queensland
- Sorghum halepense — Johnson grass - North Africa, islands of eastern Atlantic, southern Asia from Lebanon to Vietnam; naturalized in East Asia, Australia, the Americas
- Sorghum interjectum - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum intrans - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum laxiflorum - Philippines, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, New Guinea, northern Australia
- Sorghum leiocladum -Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria
- Sorghum macrospermum - Northern Territory of Australia
- Sorghum matarankense - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum nitidum - East Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Micronesia
- Sorghum plumosum - Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia
- Sorghum propinquum - China , Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Christmas Island, Micronesia, Cook Islands
- Sorghum purpureosericeum - Sahel from Mali to Tanzania; Yemen, Oman, India
- Sorghum stipoideum - Northern Territory, Western Australia
- Sorghum timorense - Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, New Guinea, northern Australia
- Sorghum trichocladum - Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
- Sorghum versicolor - eastern + southern Africa from Ethiopia to Namibia; Oman
- Sorghum virgatum - dry regions from Senegal to Palestine
many species once considered part of Sorghum but now considered better suited to other genera: Andropogon Arthraxon Bothriochloa Chrysopogon Cymbopogon Danthoniopsis Dichanthium Diectomis Diheteropogon Exotheca Hyparrhenia Hyperthelia Monocymbium Parahyparrhenia Pentameris Pseudosorghum Schizachyrium Sorghastrum
- Baijiu - Chinese alcoholic beverage distilled from sorghum
- List of antioxidants in food
- Push–pull technology pest control strategy for maize and sorghum
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
- Moench, Conrad. 1794. Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri Marburgensis : a staminum situ describendi page 207 in Latin
- Tropicos, Sorghum Moench
- Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 高粱属 gao liang shu Sorghum Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794
- Flora of Pakistan, Sorghum Moench., Meth. Bot. 207. 1794
- Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Sorghum
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
- Mutegi, Evans; Fabrice Sagnard, Moses Muraya, Ben Kanyenji, Bernard Rono, Caroline Mwongera, Charles Marangu, Joseph Kamau, Heiko Parzies, Santie de Villiers, Kassa Semagn, Pierre Traoré, Maryke Labuschagne (2010-02-01). "Ecogeographical distribution of wild, weedy and cultivated Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench in Kenya: implications for conservation and crop-to-wild gene flow". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 57 (2): 243–253. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9466-7.
- Sorghum, U.S. Grains Council.
- Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops - managing the risks. Primary industries and fisheries. Queensland Government. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_20318.htm. 21 April 2011.
- Johnson Grass, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 2257 UDT, 12 March 2009.
- Broomcorn, Alternative Field Crops Manual, Purdue University, Accessed 14 Mar 2011.
- Watson, Andrew M. Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World: The Diffusion of Crops and Farming Techniques, 700–1100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-521-24711-X.
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- Species Profile- Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), National Invasive Species Information Center, United States National Agricultural Library. Lists general information and resources for Johnsongrass.
- FAO Report (1995) "Sorghum and millets in human nutrition"
- Sorghum on US Grains Council Web Site
- National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association
- Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Association, organization for the promotion and development of sweet Sorghum as a source for biofuels, especially ethanol
- Milo, Grain Sorghum
- Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops - managing the risks