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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Panicoideae
Tribus: Andropogoneae
Subtribus: Sorghinae
Genus: Sorghum
Species: (sensu Govaerts (et al.) 2020))
S. amplum – S. angustum – S. arundinaceum – S. bicolor – S. brachypodum – S. bulbosum – S. burmahicum – S. controversum – S. ecarinatum – S. exstans – S. grande – S. halepense – S. interjectum – S. intrans – S. laxiflorum – S. leiocladum – S. macrospermum – S. matarankense – S. nitidum – S. plumosum – S. propinquum – S. purpureosericeum – S. stipoideum – S. timorense – S. trichocladum – S. versicolor – S. virgatum

Nothospecies: S. x almum – S. x drummondii – S. x randolphianum


Sorghum Moench, Methodus: 207 (1794), nom. cons.
Type species: Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, Methodus: 207 (1794)


Blumenbachia Koeler, Descr. Gramin.: 28 (1802), nom. illeg.
Sarga Ewart, Proc. Roy. Soc. Victoria, n.s., 23: 296 (1911)
Vacoparis Spangler, Austral. Syst. Bot. 16: 297 (2003)


Moench, C. (1794) Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri Marburgensis : a staminum situ describendi 207.
Dillon S.L., Lawrence P.K. & Henry R.J. (2001) The use of ribosomal ITS to determine phylogenetic relationships within Sorghum. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 230: 97–110.
Spangler, R.E. (2003) Taxonomy of Sarga, Sorghum and Vacoparis (Poaceae: Andropogoneae). Australian Systematic Botany, 16(3): 279–299.
Dillon S.L., Lawrence P.K., Henry R.J., Ross L., Price H.J. & Johnston J.S. (2004) 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 25 Sorghum species, Plant Systematics and Evolution, 249: 233–246.
Dillon S.L., Lawrence P.K., Henry R.J. & Price H.J. (2007) Sorghum resolved as a distinct genus based on combined ITS1, ndhF and Adh1 analyses, Plant Systematics and Evolution, 268: 29–43.
Dickson N., Geleta, M. Fatih, M. & Bryngelsson, T. (2010) Phylogenetic analysis of the genus Sorghum based on combined sequence data from cpDNA regions and ITS generate well-supported trees with two major lineages, Annals of Botany, 105 (3): 471–480. Available on line. Accessed Dec. 7 2013.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Sorghum in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 7. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Sorghum. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 7. excludes Sarga and Vacoparis as synonyms of Sorghum. 2013. Sorghum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 7.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Sorghum. Published online. Accessed: 7 Dec. 2013.
USDA: GRIN Taxonomy for Plants[1] (23 March 2006)

Vernacular names
беларуская: Сорга
bamanankan: Keninge
dansk: Durra
Deutsch: Mohrenhirse
Fulfulde: Mbayeeri
suomi: Durrat
magyar: Cirok
日本語: モロコシ属
македонски: Сирак
русский: Сорго
slovenščina: Sirek

Sorghum is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family (Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species, Sorghum bicolor, was originally domesticated in Africa and has since spread throughout the globe. 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).

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. Sorghum's cultivation has been linked by archeological research back to ancient Sudan around 6,000 to 7,000 BP.[9]

All sorghums contain phenolic acids, and most contain flavonoids.[10] Sorghum grains are one of the highest food sources of the flavonoid proanthocyanidin.[11] Total phenol content (in both phenolic acids and flavonoids) is correlated with antioxidant activity.[10] Antioxidant activity is high in sorghums having dark pericarp and pigmented testa.[10] The antioxidant activity of sorghum may explain the reduced incidence of certain cancers in populations consuming sorghum.[10]

Popped sorghum is popular as a snack in India. The popped sorghum is similar to popcorn, but the puffs are smaller.[12] Recipes for popping sorghum by microwave, in a pot, etc., are readily available online.[13][12]

In China, sorghum flour is used in combination with wheat flour to make noodles and breads.[14]

Most varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, nitrogen-efficient,[15] and are especially important in arid and semi-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 5th most important cereal crop grown in the world.[16][17]

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.[18][19]
Role in global economy

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.[20]

Accepted species

Species recorded include:[21]
Sorghum at a West African market

Sorghum amplum – northwestern Australia
Sorghum angustum – Queensland
Sorghum arundinaceum – Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar, islands of the western Indian Ocean
Sorghum bicolor – cultivated sorghum, often individually called sorghum, also known as durra, jowari, or milo. Native to Sahel region of Africa; naturalized in many places
Sorghum brachypodum – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum bulbosum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum burmahicum – Thailand, Myanmar
Sorghum controversum – India
Sorghum × drummondii – Sahel and West Africa
Sorghum ecarinatum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum exstans – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum grande – Northern Territory, Queensland
Sorghum halepense – Johnson grass – North Africa, islands of eastern Atlantic, southern Asia from Lebanon to Vietnam; naturalized in East Asia, Australia, the Americas
Sorghum interjectum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum intrans – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum laxiflorum – Philippines, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, New Guinea, northern Australia
Sorghum leiocladum – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria
Sorghum macrospermum – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum matarankense – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum nitidum – East Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Micronesia
Sorghum plumosum – Australia, New Guinea,, Indonesia
Sorghum propinquum – China, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Christmas Island, Micronesia, Cook Islands
Sorghum purpureosericeum – Sahel from Mali to Tanzania; Yemen, Oman, India
Sorghum stipoideum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum timorense – Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, New Guinea, northern Australia
Sorghum trichocladum – Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
Sorghum versicolor – eastern + southern Africa from Ethiopia to Namibia; Oman
Sorghum virgatum – dry regions from Senegal to the Levant.


"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
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.
Australia, Atlas of Living. "Sorghum - Atlas of Living Australia". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
"Tropicos, Sorghum Moench". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
"Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 高粱属 gao liang shu Sorghum Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
"Sorghum". County-level distribution maps from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
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" (PDF). Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 57 (2): 243–253. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9466-7. S2CID 28318220.
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.
Carney, Judith (2009). In the Shadow of Slavery. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780520269965.
Dykes, Linda; Rooney, Lloyd W. (2006). "Sorghum and millet phenols and antioxidants" (PDF). Journal of Cereal Science. 44 (3): 236–251. doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2006.06.007.
Luca, Simon Vlad; Macovei, Irina; Bujor, Alexandra; Miron, Anca; Skalicka-Woźniak, Krystyna; Aprotosoaie, Ana Clara; Trifan, Adriana (2020). "Bioactivity of dietary polyphenols: The role of metabolites". Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 60 (4): 626–659. doi:10.1080/10408398.2018.1546669. PMID 30614249. S2CID 58651581.
"Popped Sorghum". Recipes. Bob's Red Mill. 2021. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
"Popped Sorghum". Recipes. Whole Foods Market. 2021. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
Longmeimei cooking channel: 第一次做高粱馒头和面条,费了很大功夫Sorghum Bread and Sorghum Noodles, retrieved 2021-06-26
Mulhollem, Jeff (10 August 2020). "Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop". Pennsylvania State University. "… sorghum is a crop that can respond to climate change because of its high water- and nitrogen-use efficiency …"
Tove Danovich (15 December 2015). "Move over, quinoa: sorghum is the new 'wonder grain'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
Willy H. Verheye, ed. (2010). "Growth and Production of Sorghum and Millets". Soils, Plant Growth and Crop Production. II. EOLSS Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84826-368-0.
"Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops Primary industries and fisheries". Queensland Government. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
"Sorghum". Agriculture Victoria. The State of Victoria. Archived from the original on 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
"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.

"The Plant List: Sorghum". Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden. 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2017.

Further reading
Watson, Andrew M. (1983). Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World: The Diffusion of Crops and Farming Techniques, 700–1100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24711-X.

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