Moench 1794, conserved name not Sorgum Adanson 1763
Sorghum is a genus of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae, which includes about 25 species. Some of these species have 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, with the range of some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 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. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).
Cultivation and uses
One species, Sorghum bicolor, native to Africa with many cultivated forms now, 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.
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.
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.
- Accepted species
- 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.
- Formerly included
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.
- "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". Tropicos.org. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- "Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 高粱属 gao liang shu Sorghum Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794". Efloras.org. 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.
- 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)
- Tove Danovich (15 December 2015). "Move over, quinoa: sorghum is the new 'wonder grain'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops Primary industries and fisheries. Queensland Government". Retrieved 2018-10-15.
- "Sorghum". 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. Retrieved 28 February 2017.