Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

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Synonyms: Andropogon arundinaceus Scop.
Andropogon halepensis (L.) Brot.
Andropogon miliaceus Roxb.
Andropogon sorghum subsp. halepensis (L.) Hack.
Blumenbachia halepensis (L.) Koeler
Holcus halepensis L.
Milium halepense (L.) Cav.
Sorghum miliaceum (Roxb.) Snowden
Sorghum miliaceum var. parvispiculum Snowden
Common names:
Perennial with abundant creeping rhizomes; culms 50–350 cm high, up to 2 cm wide, slender to robust, mostly simple but sometimes branched; nodes glabrous; leaf sheaths glabrous; ligule a glabrous membrane; leaf laminas 20–90 × 0.5–4 cm, broadly linear. Panicle 10–55 cm long, lanceolate to pyramidal; inferior primary branches naked for about 2–5 cm, glabrous; racemes 1–5-jointed; rhachis internodes and pedicels slender, densely ciliate with whitish hairs up to 1 mm long. Sessile spikelet 4.5–5.5 mm long, elliptic; callus short and blunt, shortly barbate; glumes coriaceous; inferior glume dorsally compressed, broadly lanceolate, 2-keeled on the margins, the keels winged and the wings broadening above and ending in prominent teeth forming, with the pointed apex, a ± equally 3-toothed tip, pilose on the back; superior glume sparsely pilose on the back, boat-shaped; inferior floret empty, its lemma lanceolate, ciliate; superior floret bisexual, ciliate, awned or awnless; awn (when present) up to 12 mm long, glabrous, untwisted; palea 0. Pedicelled spikelets male, c. 5.5 mm long, narrower than the sessile; glumes chartaceous; inferior glume lanceolate, ciliate on the lateral keels, glabrous on the back; superior glume sharply keeled, glabrous; inferior lemma c. 4 mm long, broadly lanceolate, ciliate on the margins, truncate at the apex; superior lemma c. 3 mm long ovate, ciliate on the margins; anthers c. 2.5 mm long.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In moist areas on river banks, in clay soils and wet sandy soils. Rarely cultivated for fodder
Altitude range: Up to 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Throughout the Old and New World tropics
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 22 - 23.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 110.

Setshogo, M.P. (2000). Notes on the grass subtribe Sorghinae (Poaceae: Andropogoneae) in the Flora Zambesiaca area Kirkia 17(2) Page 138.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 145.

Other sources of information about Sorghum halepense:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sorghum halepense
Flora of Mozambique: Sorghum halepense
Flora of Zimbabwe: Sorghum halepense

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Sorghum halepense
African Plant Database: Sorghum halepense
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Sorghum halepense
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Sorghum halepense
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Sorghum halepense
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Sorghum halepense
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Sorghum halepense
JSTOR Plant Science: Sorghum halepense
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Sorghum halepense
Plants of the World Online: Sorghum halepense
Tropicos: Sorghum halepense
Wikipedia: Sorghum halepense

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Sorghum halepense., retrieved 16 July 2024

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