GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora


W.D. Clayton, M. Vorontsova, K.T. Harman & H. Williamson

© Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Sorghum miliaceum

HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped loosely. Rhizomes elongated. Culms 200–300 cm long; 5–10 mm diam. Culm-nodes glabrous, or pubescent. Lateral branches lacking, or sparse. Ligule a ciliolate membrane. Leaf-blades linear, or lanceolate; 30–90 cm long; 10–40 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth. Leaf-blade margins scabrous.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle with branches tipped by a raceme.

Panicle open; ovate, or pyramidal; 25–55 cm long; 10–25 cm wide. Primary panicle branches 4–5 -nate; whorled at most nodes; 10–20 cm long. Panicle branches flexuous.

Racemes 1–2.2 cm long; bearing few fertile spikelets; bearing 2–5 fertile spikelets on each. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; ciliate on margins. Rhachis hairs white, or tawny; 0.5–1 mm long. Rhachis internodes linear; 2–4 mm long. Rhachis internode tip transverse.

Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels filiform; flattened; 2–4 mm long; ciliate.

STERILE SPIKELETS Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 5–6.5 mm long; longer than fertile; separately deciduous. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; 7–8 -veined; muticous. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas enclosed by glumes.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic; dorsally compressed; subacute; 4–5.5 mm long; 1.5–2.3 mm wide; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus pilose; base obtuse.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; with lower wider than upper; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of spikelet; coriaceous; much thinner above; without keels; keel-less except near apex; 8–12 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins with cross-veins. Lower glume margins ciliolate. Lower glume apex dentate; 3 -fid. Upper glume ovate; coriaceous; much thinner above; without keels; 7 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins with cross-veins. Upper glume margins scabrous.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 3.5–5 mm long; hyaline; 2 -veined; ciliolate on margins; acute. Fertile lemma ovate; 2.5–4 mm long; hyaline; 1 -veined. Lemma margins ciliolate. Lemma apex dentate; 2 -fid; incised 0.2–0.25 of lemma length; muticous, or awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate; 10–16 mm long overall; with twisted column. Column of lemma awn glabrous. Palea absent or minute.

FLOWER Lodicules 2; oblong; fleshy; ciliate. Anthers 3; 2.5–3.5 mm long. Stigmas 2.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp.

DISTRIBUTION Asia-tropical: India. Australasia: Australia.

NOTES Andropogoneae. Snowden 1993.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 3rd February 2016.