Panicum sumatrense

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Panicum sumatrense
A closeup fo Samai millet with husk.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Panicum
Species: P. sumatrense
Binomial name
Panicum sumatrense
Roth ex Roem. & Schult.

Panicum miliare auct. non Lam.

Panicum sumatrense, known as little millet, is a species of millet in the family Poaceae.


This species of cereal is similar in habit to the proso millet except that it is smaller. It is an annual herbaceous plant, which grows straight or with folded blades to a height of 30 cm to 1 m. The leaves are linear, with the sometimes hairy laminae and membranous hairy ligules. The panicles are from 4 to 15 cm in length with 2 to 3.5 mm long awn. The grain is round and smooth, 1.8 to 1.9 mm long.


There have been two subspecies described:

  • Panicum sumatrense Roth ex Roem. & Schult. subsp. psilopodium (Trin.) Wet.
  • Panicum sumatrense Roth ex Roem. & Schult. subsp. sumatrense

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In the temperate zones of Asia: the Caucasus, China, East Asia and also in the tropics of the continent: India, Indochina and Malaysia.

It can withstand both drought and waterlogging. It can be cultivated up to 2000 m above sea level.

little millet
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 341 kcal (1,430 kJ)
67.0 g
Dietary fiber 7.6 g
4.7 g
7.7 g
17.0 mg
9.3 mg
220.0 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Common names[edit]

Hindi: Moraiyo, Kutki, Shavan.
Bengali : Sama.
Tamil : Samai.
Gujarati : Gajro, Kuri.
Telugu : Samalu.
Marathi : Sava, Halvi, Vari.
Oriya : Suan.
Kannada : Saame.


The largest cultivation is in central India. Usually, it is planted using a seed drill. It can also if necessary be planted spoiled. The green plant can also be used in part as cattle feed. The straw can be mixed with clay or cement be used in construction.

The harvest yield is from 230 to 900 kg/ha.


At the Indus Valley Civilisation sites of Harappa and Farmana, the millet assemblage was dominated by little millet.[2] Over 10,000 grains of little millet were recovered at Harappa.[2] At Harappa, little millet cultivation peaked at around 2600 BC, accounting for around 5% of the total cereal assemblage.[2]


Little Millet is cooked like rice. Sometimes the millet is also milled and baked. The protein content of the grain is 7.7%.



This article is based on a translation of the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia.