Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Sorghum

About 30 species, see text

Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which 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 warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to the South West Pacific and Australasia. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugar cane).

Other names include Durra, Egyptian Millet, Feterita, Guinea Corn, Jwari ज्वारी (Marathi), Jowar, Juwar, Milo, Shallu, Sudan Grass, Cholam (Tamil name), Jola (Kannada name), Jonnalu (Telugu name), Gaoliang (zh:高粱), Great Millet, Kafir Corn, Dura, Dari, Mtama, and Solam. For more specific details on commercially exploited sorghum, see commercial sorghum, also known as milo.


Cultivation and uses

Sorghum output in 2005.

One species, Sorghum bicolor,[1] is an important world crop, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or "sorghum molasses"), fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, as well as biofuels. Most varieties are drought and heat tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions, where the grain is staple or one of the staples for poor and rural people. They form an important component of pastures in many tropical regions. Sorghum is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia and is the "fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world".[2]

Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plant's growth. Stressed plants, even at later stages of growth, can also contain toxic levels of cyanide.[citation needed]

Another Sorghum species, Johnson grass (S. halapense), is classified as an invasive species in the US by the Department of Agriculture.[3]

Sorghum vulgare var. technicum is commonly called broomcorn.[4]


  • Sorghum almum
  • Sorghum amplum
  • Sorghum angustum
  • Sorghum arundinaceum
  • Sorghum bicolor — Cultivated sorghum, often individually called sorghum
  • Sorghum brachypodum
  • Sorghum bulbosum
  • Sorghum burmahicum
  • Sorghum ecarinatum
  • Sorghum exstans
  • Sorghum grande
  • Sorghum halepense — Johnson grass
  • Sorghum interjectum
  • Sorghum intrans
  • Sorghum laxiflorum
  • Sorghum leiocladum
  • Sorghum macrospermum
  • Sorghum matarankense
  • Sorghum nitidum
  • Sorghum plumosum
  • Sorghum propinquum
  • Sorghum purpureosericeum
  • Sorghum stipoideum
  • Sorghum timorense
  • Sorghum trichocladum
  • Sorghum versicolor
  • Sorghum verticiliflorum
  • Sorghum vulgare var. technicum  — Broomcorn


  • Sorghum × almum
  • Sorghum × drummondii

Sorghum genome

In 2009, a team of international researchers announced they had sequenced the sorghum genome.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Sorghum, U.S. Grains Council.
  3. ^ Johnson Grass, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 2257 UDT, 12 March, 2009.
  4. ^ Broomcorn, Alternative Field Crops Manual, Purdue University, Accessed 14 Mar 2011.
  5. ^ Sequencing of sorghum genome completed EurekAlert, January 28, 2010, Retrieved August 30, 2010
  6. ^ Paterson, A.; Bowers, J.; Bruggmann, R.; Dubchak, I.; Grimwood, J.; Gundlach, H.; Haberer, G.; Hellsten, U. et al. (2009). "The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses". Nature 457 (7229): 551–556. Bibcode 2009Natur.457..551P. doi:10.1038/nature07723. PMID 19189423.  edit

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sorghum — Sorgho …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sorghum — × almum Sorghum almum Sorghum bicolor Sorghum caudatum Sorghum × drummondii Sorghum halepense Sorghum propinquum El sorgo o zahína (Sorghum vulgare o Sorghum bicolor) es una hierba (Familia Poaceae), cuyas semillas se utilizan para hacer harina y …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • SORGHUM — SORGHUM, the summer plant Sorghum cernicum, called in Arabic durra or doḥ n. The Arabs of Israel sow it extensively, both for fodder and for flour, from which they make pittah ( flat bread ). It is thought to have been introduced into Ereẓ Israel …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sorghum — Sor ghum, n. [NL., probably of Chinese origin.] (Bot.) (a) A genus of grasses, properly limited to two species, {Sorghum Halepense}, the Arabian millet, or Johnson grass (see {Johnson grass}), and {S. vulgare}, the Indian millet (see {Indian… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sorghum — Pers. (Mohrenhirse, fälschlich Moorhirse), Gattung der Gramineen (oder Gruppe der Gattung Andropogon L.), ein oder mehrjährige, große, breitblätterige Gräser mit aus Trauben zusammengesetzten, derbästigen Rispen, breit lanzettlichen, zuletzt… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • sorghum — 1590s, Indian millet, from Mod.L. Sorghum, the genus name, from It. sorgo a tall cereal grass, probably from M.L. surgum, suricum (12c.), perhaps a variant of L. syricum Syrian, as in Syricum (gramen) (grass) of Syria, from Syria, a possible… …   Etymology dictionary

  • sorghum — [sôr′gəm] n. [ModL < It sorgo < dial. soreg < L syricus, Syrian: hence, orig., Syrian grass] 1. any of a genus (Sorghum) of tropical grasses that have solid stems bearing large panicles of spikelets with numerous small, glossy grains:… …   English World dictionary

  • Sorghum — (S. Pers.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Gramineae Andropogoneae, 23 Kl. 1 Ordn. L.; Arten: S. vulgare (Sorghogras, Sorghohoniggras, Sorghorostgras, Mohrhirse, Durra, Kaffernhirse), mit mehr als mannshohem, fingersdickem Stängel,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sorghum — Pers., Sorgho, Pflanzengattg. der Gramineen. S. vulgāre Pers. (Moor oder Mohrenhirse, Kaffern , Guinea , Negerkorn, Durrha, Durragras [Abb. 1763; a Ährchen, b Fruchtrispe, c Rispenästchen, d Fruchtährchen]), in Afrika als Brotkorn, in mehrern… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sorghum — Sorghum, Sorgho, s. Moorhirse …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • sorghum — ► NOUN ▪ a cereal native to warm regions, grown for grain and animal feed. ORIGIN Italian sorgo, perhaps from a variant of Latin syricum Syrian …   English terms dictionary

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