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Sorghum bicolor
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Supertribe: Andropogonodae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Subtribe: Saccharinae
Moench 1794, conserved name not Sorgum Adanson 1763
Type species
Sorghum bicolor
Synonyms [1]
  • BlumenbachiaKoeler 1802, rejected name not Schrad. 1825 (Loasaceae)
  • SargaEwart
  • VacoparisSpangler
  • Andropogon subg. SorghumHackel.

Sorghum is a genus of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae. Seventeen of the 25 species are native to Australia, [2] [3] with the range of some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. [4] [5] One species is grown for grain, while many others are used as fodder plants, either cultivated in warm climates worldwide or naturalized, in pasture lands. [6] Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).

Poaceae family of plants

Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses, commonly referred to collectively as grass. Poaceae includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns and pasture.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.


Cultivation and uses

One species, Sorghum bicolor , [7] native to Africa with many cultivated forms now, [8] is an important crop worldwide, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or "sorghum molasses"), animal 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 forage 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. [9]

<i>Sorghum bicolor</i> Species of plant

Sorghum bicolor, commonly called sorghum and also known as great millet, durra, jowari, or milo, is a grass species cultivated for its grain, which is used for food for humans, animal feed, and ethanol production. Sorghum originated in Africa, and is now cultivated widely in tropical and subtropical regions. Sorghum is the world's fifth-most important cereal crop after rice, wheat, maize, and barley. S. bicolor is typically an annual, but some cultivars are perennial. It grows in clumps that may reach over 4 m high. The grain is small, ranging from 2 to 4 mm in diameter. Sweet sorghums are sorghum cultivars that are primarily grown for forage, syrup production, and ethanol; they are taller than those grown for grain.

Food Substances consumed as nutrition

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

Sweet sorghum

Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of the sorghum grass whose stalks have a high sugar content. Sweet sorghum thrives better under drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown primarily for forage, silage, and syrup production. Although, in most of the United States the term molasses refers to a sweet syrup, made as a byproduct of sugarcane or sugar beet sugar extraction, sweet sorghum syrup is known as "sorghum molasses" in some regions of the U.S.

In the early stages of the plants' growth, some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine, and nitrates which are lethal to grazing animals. When stressed by drought or heat, plants can also contain toxic levels of cyanide and nitrates at later stages in growth. [10] [11]

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), sometimes called prussic acid, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula HCN. It is a colorless, extremely poisonous and flammable liquid that boils slightly above room temperature, at 25.6 °C (78.1 °F). HCN is produced on an industrial scale and is a highly valuable precursor to many chemical compounds ranging from polymers to pharmaceuticals.

Hordenine alkaloid of the phenethylamine class

Hordenine (N,N-dimethyltyramine) is an alkaloid of the phenethylamine class that occurs naturally in a variety of plants, taking its name from one of the most common, barley. Chemically, hordenine is the N-methyl derivative of N-methyltyramine, and the N,N-dimethyl derivative of the well-known biogenic amine tyramine, from which it is biosynthetically derived and with which it shares some pharmacological properties. Currently, hordenine is widely sold as an ingredient of nutritional supplements, with the claims that it is a stimulant of the central nervous system, and has the ability to promote weight loss by enhancing metabolism. In experimental animals, given sufficiently large doses parenterally, hordenine does produce an increase in blood pressure, as well as other disturbances of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. These effects are generally not reproduced by oral administration of the drug in test animals, and virtually no scientific reports of the effects of hordenine in human beings have been published.

Global demand for sorghum increased dramatically between 2013 and 2015 when China began purchasing US sorghum crops to use as livestock feed as a substitute for domestically grown corn. China purchased around $1 billion worth of American sorghum per year until April 2018 when China imposed retaliatory duties on American sorghum as part of the trade war between the two countries. [12]

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Cereal Grass of which the fruits are used as grain, or said fruits

A cereal is any grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.


Accepted species [13]
<i>Sorghum</i> × <i>drummondii</i> nothospecies of plant, Sudan grass

Sorghum × drummondii (Sudangrass), is a hybrid-derived species of grass raised for forage and grain, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Eastern Africa. The plant is cultivated in Southern Europe, South America, Central America, North America and Southern Asia, for forage or as a cover crop.

Johnson grass Species of plant

Johnson grass or Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense, is a plant in the grass family, Poaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, but grows throughout Europe and the Middle East. The plant has been introduced to all continents except Antarctica, and most larger islands and archipelagos. It reproduces by rhizomes and seeds.

<i>Sorghum leiocladum</i> species of plant

Sorghum leiocladum is a grass plant in the family Poaceae that is found in eastern and northern Australia.

Formerly included[ citation needed ]

Many species once considered part of Sorghum, but now considered better suited to other genera include: Andropogon, Arthraxon, Bothriochloa, Chrysopogon, Cymbopogon, Danthoniopsis, Dichanthium, Diectomis, Diheteropogon, Exotheca, Hyparrhenia, Hyperthelia, Monocymbium, Parahyparrhenia, Pentameris, Pseudosorghum, Schizachyrium, and Sorghastrum .

<i>Andropogon</i> genus of plants

Andropogon is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family, native to much of Asia, Africa, and the Americas as well as southern Europe and various oceanic islands.

<i>Arthraxon</i> genus of plants

Arthraxon, commonly known as carpetgrass, is a genus of Asian, African and Australian plants in the grass family, Poaceae, containing the following species:

<i>Bothriochloa</i> Genus of plants

Bothriochloa is a common and widespread genus of plants in the grass family native to many countries on all inhabited continents and many islands. They are often called beardgrass, bluegrass or bluestem.

Related Research Articles

<i>Oryza</i> genus of plants

Oryza is a genus of plants in the grass family. It includes the major food crop rice. Members of the genus grow as tall, wetland grasses, growing to 1–2 m tall; the genus includes both annual and perennial species.

<i>Cymbopogon</i> genus of plants

Cymbopogon, variously known as lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, Cochin grass or Malabar grass or oily heads, is a genus of Asian, African, Australian, and tropical island plants in the grass family. Some species are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons. Other common names include barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, and fever grass, amongst many others. The name cymbopogon derives from the Greek words kymbe and pogon "which mean [that] in most species, the hairy spikelets project from boat-shaped spathes."

A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion.

Pearl millet species of plant, Pearl millet

Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet. It has been grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. The center of diversity, and suggested area of domestication, for the crop is in the Sahel zone of West Africa. Recent archaeobotanical research has confirmed the presence of domesticated pearl millet on the Sahel zone of northern Mali between 2500 and 2000 BC. Cultivation subsequently spread and moved overseas to India. The earliest archaeological records in the Indian subcontinent date to around 2000 BC, and it spread rapidly through Northern Indian subcontinent reaching South India by 1500 BC, based on evidence from the site of Hallur. Cultivation also spread throughout eastern and southern parts of Africa. Pearl millet is widely grown in the northeastern part of Nigeria. It is a major source of food to the local villagers of that region. The crop grows easily in that region due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like drought and flood. Records exist for cultivation of pearl millet in the United States in the 1850s, and the crop was introduced into Brazil in the 1960s.

<i>Ocimum</i> genus of plants

Ocimum is a genus of aromatic annual and perennial herbs and shrubs in the family Lamiaceae, native to the tropical and warm temperate regions of all 6 inhabited continents, with the greatest number of species in Africa. It is the genus of basil and the name is from the Ancient Greek word for basil, ὤκιμον (ṓkimon). Its best known species are the cooking herb cooking basil, O. basilicum and the medicinal herb tulsi, O. tenuiflorum.

<i>Pennisetum</i> genus of plants

Pennisetum is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family, native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. They are known commonly as fountaingrasses

<i>Cynodon</i> genus of plants

Cynodon is a genus of plants in the grass family. It is native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Old World, as well as being cultivated and naturalized in the New World and on many oceanic islands.

<i>Typhonium</i> genus of plants

Typhonium is a genus in the family Araceae native to eastern and southern Asia, New Guinea, and Australia. It is most often found growing in wooded areas.

  1. Typhonium acetosellaGagnep. - Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
  2. Typhonium adnatumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  3. Typhonium albidinerviumC.Z.Tang & H.Li - Guangdong, Hainan, Laos, Thailand
  4. Typhonium albispathumBogner - Thailand
  5. Typhonium alismifoliumF.Muell. - Queensland, Northern Territory
  6. Typhonium angustilobumF.Muell. - Queensland, New Guinea
  7. Typhonium bachmaenseV.D.Nguyen & Hett. - Vietnam
  8. Typhonium baoshanenseZ.L.Dao & H.Li - Yunnan
  9. Typhonium blumeiNicolson & Sivad. - Japan, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, much of China, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam; nautralized in Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Borneo, Philippines, West Indies
  10. Typhonium bognerianumJ.Murata & Sookch. - Thailand
  11. Typhonium browniiSchott - Queensland, New South Wales
  12. Typhonium bulbiferumDalzell - southern India
  13. Typhonium circinnatumHett. & J.Mood - Vietnam
  14. Typhonium cochleareA.Hay - Bangladesh, Northern Territory of Australia
  15. Typhonium cordifoliumS.Y.Hu - Thailand
  16. Typhonium digitatumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  17. Typhonium echinulatumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  18. Typhonium eliosurum(F.Muell. ex Benth.) O.D.Evans - New South Wales
  19. Typhonium filiformeRidl. - Thailand, Malaysia
  20. Typhonium flagelliforme(G.Lodd.) Blume - Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, New Guinea, Queensland, Northern Territory
  21. Typhonium fultumRidl. - Thailand, Malaysia
  22. Typhonium gagnepainiiJ.Murata & Sookch. - Thailand, Cambodia
  23. Typhonium gallowayiHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  24. Typhonium glaucumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  25. Typhonium griseumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  26. Typhonium hayataeSriboonma & J.Murata - Vietnam
  27. Typhonium huenseNguyen & Croat - Vietnam
  28. Typhonium hunanenseH.Li & Z.Q.Liu - Hunan
  29. Typhonium inopinatumPrain - India, Myanmar, Thailand
  30. Typhonium jinpingenseZ.L.Wang, H.Li & F.H.Bian - Yunnan
  31. Typhonium johnsonianumA.Hay & S.M.Taylor - Northern Territory of Australia
  32. Typhonium jonesiiA.Hay - Northern Territory of Australia
  33. Typhonium laoticumGagnep. - Thailand, Laos
  34. Typhonium liliifoliumF.Muell. ex Schott - Northern Territory, Western Australia
  35. Typhonium lineareHett. & V.D.Nguyen - Vietnam
  36. Typhonium listeriPrain - Assam, Bangladesh, Myanmar
  37. Typhonium medusaeHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  38. Typhonium mirabile(A.Hay) A.Hay - Melville Island of Australia
  39. Typhonium neogracileJ.Murata - Assam, Bangladesh, Myanmar
  40. Typhonium nudibaccatumA.Hay - Western Australia
  41. Typhonium orbifoliumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  42. Typhonium pedatisectumGage - Myanmar
  43. Typhonium pedunculatumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  44. Typhonium peltandroidesA.Hay, M.D.Barrett & R.L.Barrett - Western Australia
  45. Typhonium penicillatumV.D.Nguyen & Hett. - Vietnam
  46. Typhonium pottingeriPrain - Myanmar
  47. Typhonium praecoxJ.Murata - Myanmar
  48. Typhonium praetermissumA.Hay - Northern Territory of Australia
  49. Typhonium pusillumSookch., V.D.Nguyen & Hett. - Thailand
  50. Typhonium reflexumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  51. Typhonium roxburghiiSchott - Taiwan, Yunnan, Bonin Islands, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Andaman Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, western Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea; naturalized in Western Australia, eastern Brazil, Tanzania
  52. Typhonium russell-smithiiA.Hay - Northern Territory of Australia
  53. Typhonium sagittariifoliumGagnep. - Thailand
  54. Typhonium saraburiensisSookch., Hett. & J.Murata - Thailand
  55. Typhonium sinhabaedyaeHett. & A.Galloway - Thailand
  56. Typhonium smitinandiiSookch. & J.Murata - Thailand
  57. Typhonium stigmatilobatumV.D.Nguyen - Vietnam
  58. Typhonium subglobosumHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  59. Typhonium tayloriiA.Hay - Northern Territory of Australia
  60. Typhonium trifoliatumF.T.Wang & H.S.Lo ex H.Li, Y.Shiao & S.L.Tseng - Mongolia, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi
  61. Typhonium trilobatum(L.) Schott - southern China, Indian Subcontinent, Indochina; naturalized in Windward Islands, Ivory Coast, Borneo, Philippines
  62. Typhonium tubispathumHett. & A.Galloway - Thailand
  63. Typhonium variansHett. & Sookch. - Thailand
  64. Typhonium vermiformeV.D.Nguyen & Croat - Vietnam
  65. Typhonium violifoliumGagnep. - Myanmar, Thailand
  66. Typhonium watanabeiJ.Murata, Sookch. & Hett. - Thailand
  67. Typhonium weipanumA.Hay - Queensland
  68. Typhonium wilbertiiA.Hay
<i>Cenchrus</i> genus of plants

Cenchrus is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family. Its species are native to many countries in Asia, Africa, Australia, the Americas, and various oceanic islands.

<i>Najas</i> genus of plants

Najas, the water-nymphs or naiads, is a genus of aquatic plants. It is cosmopolitan in distribution, first described for modern science by Linnaeus in 1753. Until 1997, it was rarely placed in the Hydrocharitaceae,] and was often taken as constituting the family Najadaceae.

Dhurrin chemical compound

Dhurrin is a cyanogenic glycoside produced in many plants. Discovered in multiple sorghum varieties in 1906 as the culprit of cattle poisoning by hydrogen cyanide, dhurrin is most typically associated with Sorghum bicolor, the organism used for mapping the biosynthesis of dhurrin from tyrosine. Dhurrin's name is derived form the Arabic word for sorghum, transliterated to "Dhura."

<i>Spinifex</i> (plant) genus of plants

Spinifex is a genus of perennial coastal plants in the grass family.

Commercial sorghum

Commercial sorghum is the cultivation and commercial exploitation of species of grasses within the genus Sorghum. These plants are used for grain, fibre and fodder. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Commercial Sorghum species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.

Themeda genus of plants

Themeda is a genus of plants in the grass family native to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Papuasia. There are about 18 to 26 species, many of which are native to Southeast Asia.

<i>Coix</i> genus of plants

Coix is a genus of Asian and Australian plants in the grass family.

Dichanthium Genus of plants

Dichanthium, known commonly as bluestem or bluegrass, is a genus of African, Asian, and Australian plants in the grass family.

<i>Pelopidas lyelli</i> species of insect

Pelopidas lyelli, the Lyell's swift, is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is found in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia, as well as Irian Jaya, Maluku, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

<i>Murdannia</i> genus of plants

Murdannia is a genus of annual or perennial monocotyledonous flowering plants in the dayflower family.


  1. "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" . Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  2. Sally L. Dillon; Peter K. Lawrence; Robert J. Henry; et al. "Sorghum laxiflorum and S. macrospermum, the Australian native species most closely related to the cultivated S. bicolor based on ITS1 and ndhF sequence analysis of 28 Sorghum species". Southern Cross Plant Science. Southern Cross University. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. Australia, Atlas of Living. "Sorghum - Atlas of Living Australia" . Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  4. "Tropicos, ''Sorghum'' Moench". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  5. "Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 高粱属 gao liang shu ''Sorghum'' Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  6. "Sorghum". County-level distribution maps from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  7. Mutegi, Evans; Sagnard, Fabrice; Muraya, Moses; et al. (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.
  8. Stefan Hauser, Lydia Wairegi, Charles L. A. Asadu, Damian O. Asawalam, Grace Jokthan, Utiang Ugbe (2015). "Sorghum- and millet-legume cropping systems" (PDF). CABI and Africa Soil Health Consortium. Retrieved 7 October 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. Tove Danovich (15 December 2015). "Move over, quinoa: sorghum is the new 'wonder grain'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  10. "Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops Primary industries and fisheries. Queensland Government" . Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  11. "Sorghum" . Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  12. "Sorghum, targeted by tariffs, is a U.S. crop China started buying only five years ago". LA Times. Apr 18, 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  13. "The Plant List: Sorghum". Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden. Retrieved 28 February 2017.

Further reading