1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Sorghum Moench
      1. Sorghum versicolor Andersson

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to S. Africa, S. Arabian Peninsula.

    [FZ]

    Gramineae, T. A. Cope. Flora Zambesiaca 10:4. 2002

    Habit
    Annual; culms up to 250 cm high, slender; nodes with a conspicuous ring of long, spreading, silky white hairs; leaf sheaths glabrous except for a beard of long cilia at the mouth; ligule a glabrous membrane up to 3 mm long; leaf laminas 10–30 cm × up to 15 mm, hairy on both surfaces or occasionally glabrous on the superior.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle up to 25 cm long, open; branches simple; racemes 3–7-jointed; rhachis internodes and pedicels long-pilose.
    Spikelets
    Sessile spikelet (5)5.5(7) mm long, elliptic-oblong; callus barbate with pallid to reddish hairs; glumes coriaceous, glossy; inferior glume reddish-brown to black, pilose on the back; superior glume pilose above the middle, glabrous and shiny below, tapering to a fine apex; inferior floret empty, its lemma c. 4 mm long and ciliate on the margins; superior floret bisexual; lemma c. 3 mm long, deeply lobed, ciliate on the lobes and margins, awned; awn c. (25)40 mm long, twisted, scabrid along the spiral; palea 0. Pedicelled spikelet neuter, (3)4(5) mm long, lanceolate, smaller than the sessile spikelet, greenish; inferior glume membranous, pilose on the back; superior glume membranous, glabrous to scabrid.
    Sessile
    Sessile spikelet (5)5.5(7) mm long, elliptic-oblong; callus barbate with pallid to reddish hairs; glumes coriaceous, glossy; inferior glume reddish-brown to black, pilose on the back; superior glume pilose above the middle, glabrous and shiny below, tapering to a fine apex; inferior floret empty, its lemma c. 4 mm long and ciliate on the margins; superior floret bisexual; lemma c. 3 mm long, deeply lobed, ciliate on the lobes and margins, awned; awn c. (25)40 mm long, twisted, scabrid along the spiral; palea 0.
    Pedicelled
    Pedicelled spikelet neuter, (3)4(5) mm long, lanceolate, smaller than the sessile spikelet, greenish; inferior glume membranous, pilose on the back; superior glume membranous, glabrous to scabrid.
    [GB]
    Habit
    Annual, or perennial; short-lived. Culms erect; 25-250 cm long. Culm-nodes bearded. Leaves cauline. Ligule a ciliolate membrane; pilose on abaxial surface. Leaf-blades 10-30 cm long; 3-10 mm wide.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle with branches tipped by a raceme. Panicle open; oblong; 5-25 cm long. Primary panicle branches whorled at most nodes; simple. Racemes bearing 3-7 fertile spikelets on each. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; ciliate on margins. Rhachis hairs red; 2 mm long. Rhachis internodes filiform; 3.5-5 mm long. Rhachis internode tip transverse; cupuliform. Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels filiform; ciliate.
    Sterile
    Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; linear to lanceolate; 3-5 mm long; shorter than fertile; separately deciduous. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; muticous. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas enclosed by glumes.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic, or oblong; dorsally compressed; 5-7 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus bearded; base obtuse. Spikelet callus hairs white, or red. Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; linear to lanceolate; 3-5 mm long; shorter than fertile; separately deciduous. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; muticous. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas enclosed by glumes.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic, or oblong; dorsally compressed; 5-7 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus bearded; base obtuse. Spikelet callus hairs white, or red.
    Glume
    Glumes dissimilar; with lower wider than upper; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma; shiny. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of spikelet; coriaceous; dark brown, or black; without keels; keel-less except near apex. Lower glume surface glabrous, or pilose. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; coriaceous; without keels. Upper glume surface glabrous, or pilose.
    Florets
    Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 0.8 length of spikelet; hyaline; 2 -veined; ciliolate on margins. Fertile lemma oblong; 3-5 mm long; hyaline; 1 -veined. Lemma margins ciliate. Lemma apex dentate; 2 -fid; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate; 25-40 mm long overall; with twisted column. Column of lemma awn pubescent; hairy on the spiral. Palea absent or minute.
    Flowers
    Lodicules 2; ciliate.
    Distribution
    Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south.
    Reference
    Andropogoneae. FTEA.
    [FTEA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

    Habit
    Annual or short-lived perennial; culms 25–250 cm. high, the nodes bearded.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades 10–30 cm. long, 3–10 mm. wide.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle narrowly oblong, 5–25 cm. long; primary branches whorled, simple (rarely the longer branched), bearing racemes of 3–7 spikelet pairs.
    Spikelets
    Sessile spikelet elliptic-oblong, 5–7 mm. long; lower glume coriaceous, glossy, reddish brown to black, glabrous to loosely pilose, bearded from the callus with pallid to rufous hairs; awn 25–40 mm. long. Pedicelled spikelet linear to lanceolate, 3–5 mm. long, greenish.
    Sessile
    Sessile spikelet elliptic-oblong, 5–7 mm. long; lower glume coriaceous, glossy, reddish brown to black, glabrous to loosely pilose, bearded from the callus with pallid to rufous hairs; awn 25–40 mm. long.
    Pedicelled
    Pedicelled spikelet linear to lanceolate, 3–5 mm. long, greenish.
    Habitat
    In coastal bushland, deciduous bushland or wooded grassland, commonly on waterlogged soils or black clays; 0–1600 m.
    Distribution
    K1 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 Z southwards to South Africa

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Oman, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Sorghum versicolor Andersson appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in W.C.H.Peters, Naturw. Reise Mossambique 6(2): 563 (1864)

    Accepted by

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H. (2006). World Grass Species - Synonymy database The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T.A. (2002). Flora Zambesiaca 10(4): 1-190. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1995). Flora of Somalia 4: i-ii, 1-298. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Ghazanfar, S.A. (1992). An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Oman and their Vernacular names Scripta Botanica Belgica 2: 1-153.
    • Ndabaneze, P. (1989). Catalogue des Graminées du Burundi Lejeunia; Revue de Botanique, n.s., 132: 1-127.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A. (1982). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 3: 451-898.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T.A. (2002). Flora Zambesiaca 10(4): 1-190. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1995). Flora of Somalia 4: i-ii, 1-298. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Ghazanfar, S.A. (1992). An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Oman and their Vernacular names Scripta Botanica Belgica 2: 1-153.
    • Ndabaneze, P. (1989). Catalogue des Graminées du Burundi Lejeunia; Revue de Botanique, n.s., 132: 1-127.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A. (1982). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 3: 451-898.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • D.M. Napper, Grasses of Tanganyika: 96 (1965).
    • A.V. Bogdan, A Revised List of Kenya Grasses p. 55 (1958).
    • Jackson & Wiehe, Ann. list Nyasaland grasses: 60 (1958).
    • Hubbard, E.A. Pasture Plants 2: 6 (1927).
    • Stapf in Flora of Tropical Africa 9: 139 (1917).
    • Anderss. in Peters, Reise Mosamb., Bot. 2: 563 (1863).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0