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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

About 30 species, see text

Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are 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).

For more specific details on commercially exploited Sorghum see commercial sorghum.


Cultivation and uses

Sorghum output in 2005.

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

A Sorghum species, Johnson Grass, is classified as an invasive species in the US by the Department of Agriculture.[2]

The reclaimed stalks of the sorghum plant are used to make a decorative millwork material marketed as Kirei board.

Sweet sorghum syrup is known as molasses in some parts of the U.S., although it is not true molasses.

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]

In China, sorghum is fermented and distilled to produce maotai, which is regarded as one of the country's most famous liquors. Sorghum was ground and the flour was a main alternative of wheat in north China for a long time.

In India, and other places, sweet sorghum stalks are used for producing bio-fuel by squeezing the juice and then fermenting into ethanol.[3] Texas A&M University in the United States is currently running trials to find the best varieties for ethanol production from sorghum leaves and stalks in the USA.[4]


  • Sorghum almum
  • Sorghum amplum
  • Sorghum angustum
  • Sorghum arundinaceum
  • Sorghum bicolor (primary cultivated species)
  • Sorghum brachypodum
  • Sorghum bulbosum
  • Sorghum burmahicum
  • Sorghum controversum
  • Sorghum drummondii
  • Sorghum ecarinatum
  • Sorghum exstans
  • Sorghum grande
  • Sorghum halepense
  • Sorghum interjectum
  • Sorghum intrans
  • Sorghum laxiflorum
  • Sorghum leiocladum
  • Sorghum macrospermum
  • Sorghum matarankense
  • Sorghum miliaceum
  • Sorghum nigrum
  • Sorghum nitidum
  • Sorghum plumosum
  • Sorghum propinquum
  • Sorghum purpureosericeum
  • Sorghum stipoideum
  • Sorghum timorense
  • Sorghum trichocladum
  • Sorghum versicolor
  • Sorghum virgatum
  • Sorghum vulgare


  • Sorghum × almum
  • Sorghum × drummondii

See also


  1. ^ Sorghum, U.S. Grains Council.
  2. ^ Johnson Grass, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 2257 UDT, 12 March, 2009.
  3. ^ Sweet Sorghum : A New "Smart Biofuel Crop" AgriBusinessWeek, 30 June 2008
  4. ^ Ceres and Texas A&M to Develop and Market High-Biomass Sorghum for Biofuels Texas A&M University System Agriculture Program, 1 October 2007
  • 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 052124711X.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SORGHUM, a genus of grasses belonging to the tribe Andropogoneae, and including one of the most important tropical grains, Sorghum vulgare, great millet, Indian millet or Guinea corn. In India it is known as jawari (Hindustani), jowari (Bengali), cholum (Tamil), and jonna (Telugu), and in the West Indies as Negro or Guinea Corn. It is a strong grass, growing to a height of from 4 to 8 or even 16 ft.; the leaves are sheathing, solitary, and about 2 in. broad and 2tft. in length; the panicles are contracted and dense, and the grains, which are enclosed in husks and. protected by awns, are round, hard, smooth, shining, brownish-red, and somewhat larger than mustard seeds. The plant is cultivated in various parts of India and other countries of Asia, in the United States, and in the south of Europe. Its culms and leaves afford excellent fodder for cattle; and the grain, of which the yield in favourable situations is upwards of a hundredfold, is used for the same purposes as maize, rice, corn and other cereals.

Missing image

Speaking of its cultivation, Eduard Hackel (in his article on "Grasses" in Die natiirlichen Pflanzenfamilien) says the culture of Sorghum probably had its origin in Africa, where a variety Sorghum vulgare. known as durra is now cultivated over the entire continent, and has become the most important cereal; the natives also chew the stem, which contains sugar. In Europe it is raised less for bread than for mechanical purposes; the panicles are made into the so-called rice-brooms and into brushes. In Germany it is occasionally raised for green fodder. From the fruit the Kaffirs make an alcoholic drink, Tialva, and the negroes one known as Merisa. Allied species are S. bicolor, much valued in India as a forage-plant, and S. saccharatum, commonly called sorghum or Chinese sugar-cane, which is extensively cultivated in China, North India and Africa. The latter species is grown in America chiefly for the manufacture of molasses from its juice, and in France as a source of alcohol.

A full account of the cultivation and use of the species in India will be found in Sir G. Watt's Dictionary of the Economic Products of India (1893).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also sorghum



Sorghum (plural: Sorghume)

  1. sorghum


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales
Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Panicoideae
Tribus: Andropogoneae
Genus: Sorghum
Subgenus: S. (Chaetosorghum)
Sectiones: S. sect. Arundinacea - S. sect. Arundinaceum - S. sect. Blumenbachia - S. sect.  Chaetosorghum - S. sect. Chrysosorghum - S. sect. Drummondii - S. sect.  Heterosorghum - S. sect. Parasorghum - S. sect. Sorghum - S. sect. Stiposorghum
Series: S. ser. Durra
Species: S. abyssinicum - S. aethiopicum - S. album - S. andropogon - S. ankolib - S. annuum - S. anomalum - S. arctatum - S. arduini - S. arenarium - S. argenteum - S. arunidinaceum - S. arvense - S. asperum - S. aterrimum - S. australiense - S. avenaceum - S. balansae - S. bantuorum - S. barbatum - S. basiplicatum - S. basutorum - S. bicorne - S. bipennatum - S. bourgaei - S. brachystachyum - S. bracteatum - S. brevicallosum - S. brevicarinatum - S. brevifolium - S. burmahicum - S. cabanisii - S. caffrorum - S. campanum - S. campestre - S. camporum - S. candatum - S. canescens - S. capense - S. capillare - S. carinatum - S. castaneum - S. caucasicum - S. caudatum - S. centroplicatum - S. cernum - S. cernuum - S. chinense - S. chinese - S. cirratum - S. commune - S. compactum - S. condensatum - S. consanguineum - S. conspicuum - S. contortum - S. controversum - S. coriaceum - S. crupina - S. cubanicus - S. cubense - S. deccanense - S. decolor - S. decolorans - S. dimidiatum - S. dochna - S. dora - S. dubium - S. dulcicaule - S. durra - S. elegans - S. elliotii - S. elliottii - S. elongatum - S. eplicatum - S. exaratum - S. exsertum - S. fastigiatum - S. fauriei - S. flavescens - S. flavum - S. friesii - S. fulvum - S. fuscum - S. gambicum - S. giganteum - S. glabrescens - S. glaucescens - S. glaziovii - S. glomeratum - S. glycychylum - S. gracile - S. gracilipes - S. grandes - S. guineence - S. guineense - S. guinense - S. halapense - S. halenpensis - S. halepensis - S. hallii - S. hewisonii - S. hirse - S. hirtiflorum - S. hirtifolium - S. hirtum - S. hybrid - S. incompletum - S. japonicum - S. junghuhnii - S. lanceolatum - S. laterale - S. laxum - S. leicladum - S. leptocladum - S. leptos - S. leucostachyum - S. liebmanni - S. liebmannii - S. lithophilum - S. longiberbe - S. macrochaeta - S. malacostachyum - S. margaritiferum - S. medioplicatum - S. mekongense - S. melaleucum - S. melanocarpum - S. mellitum - S. membranaceum - S. micratherum - S. miliaceum - S. miliiforme - S. minarum - S. mixture - S. mjoebergii - S. muticum - S. myosurus - S. nankinense - S. negrosense - S. nervosum - S. nigericum - S. nigricans - S. nigrum - S. niloticum - S. nitens - S. notabile - S. nubicum - S. nutans - S. orysoidum - S. pallidum - S. panicoides - S. papyrascens - S. parviflorum - S. pauciflorum - S. piptatherum - S. platyphyllum - S. pogonostachyum - S. pohlianum - S. provinciale - S. pugionifolium - S. purpureo-sericeum - S. pyramidale - S. quartinianum - S. repens - S. riedelii - S. rigidifolium - S. rigidum - S. rollii - S. roxburghii - S. rubens - S. rufum - S. ruprechtii - S. saccharatum - S. saccharoides - S. salzmanni - S. sativum - S. scabriflorum - S. schimperi - S. schlumbergeri - S. schottii - S. schreberi - S. scoparium - S. secundum - S. semiberbe - S. serratum - S. setifolium - S. simulans - S. somaliense - S. sorghum - S. spathiflorum - S. splendidum - S. spontaneum - S. stapfii - S. striatum - S. subglabrescens - S. sudanense - S. tataricum - S. technicum - S. technicus - S. tenerum - S. ternatum - S. thonizzi - S. trichocladum - S. trichopus - S. tropicum - S. truchmenorum - S. usambarense - S. usorum - S. verticillatum - S. verticilliflorum - S. vestitum - S. villosum - S. virgatum - S. virginicum - S. vogelianum - S. vulgare - S. wrightii - S. zeae - S. zollingeri
Hybrid: S. × almum - S. × almum Parodi - S. bicolor × sudanense - S. × derzhavinii - S. × drummondii - S. × randolphianum


Sorghum Moench


  • USDA: GRIN Taxonomy for Plants[1] (23 March 2006)
  • GBIF.

Vernacular names

Dansk: Durra
Magyar: Cirok
日本語: モロコシ属

Simple English

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Sorghum

Sorghum is a genus in the grass family Poaceae. The plants are grown in warmer climates. Species grow naturally in tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to Oceania and Australasia. Because many species of Sorghum are resistant to drought and high temperatures, it is a very important food source in the desert areas of Africa.

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