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Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench
Family Poaceae
Common name: Cultivated Sorghums

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench APNI*

Description: Tufted annuals or weak perennials to >2 m tall

Ligule membranous to 3 mm long, often with hairs to 1 mm long; orifice often with hairs to 1 mm long; blade flat, to 5 cm wide.

Inflorescence open or contracted, to 45 cm long, to 23 cm wide; axils glabrous or with hairs to 1 mm long. Spikelets in pairs, 4–7 mm long, florets 2; lower spikelet sessile, upper spikelet pedicellate, narrower than lower spikelet, terminal spikelets in triplets. Glumes 3–7 mm long, awnless, keeled toward apex, lower 3-toothed, 7–11-nerved, 2-keeled, keels winged forming small lateral teeth at apex; upper 5-nerved. Sterile lemma 2–5 mm long, acute or 2-lobed, 1–2-nerved, sometimes with an awn to 15 mm long; palea absent or reduced. Fertile lemma 4–5.5 mm long, acute or 2-toothed, awnless, 2-nerved; palea absent or reduced.


Flowering: Flowers in summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated in almost all parts of N.S.W. and hybrids found on disturbed sites in all mainland States.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Qld
AVH map***


 Key to the subspecies 
1Racemes not disarticulating readily at maturity2
Racemes disarticulating readily at maturity3
2Grains usually exposed at maturity between gaping glumes; axis and branches toughsubsp. bicolor
Grain not exposed at maturity; upper portion of the rachis internode attached to the sessile spikelet when the spikelets finally fall.
                       Back to 1
subsp. drummondii
3Perennial with strong rhizomes.subsp. almum
Weak perennial, without rhizomes. Sessile spikelets break away cleanly from the rachis internodes when falling.
                       Back to 1
subsp. arundinaceum

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.

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