Sorghum halepense L.
Family Poaceae, Tribe Andropogoneae
NOTE: This species is actionable only when found in field or vegetable seed for planting; tolerance applies.
sessile spikelet with attached pedicel and rachis segment, sessile spikelet with attached pedicellate spikelet and rachis segment, sessile spikelet with two attached pedicellate spikelets, sessile spikelet with two attached pedicels, sessile spikelet with one or more of these parts, apex, or base of spikelet broken or broken off, or caryopsis; disarticulation at base of sessile spikelet, tip of rachis segment, and tip of pedicel
Spikelets heteromorphic. Sessile spikelet dorsally compressed, 3.8–6.5 mm long, 1.5–2.3 mm wide, glumes indurate, shiny, straw-yellow to dark reddish brown, consisting of one fertile floret and one basal sterile lemma. Spikelet callus pubescent; pedicels with silky hairs. Lower glume coriaceous, length of spikelet, its margins enclosing upper glume, 2-keeled near apex, apex dentate, 3-fid; upper glume coriaceous. Sterile lemma hyaline. Fertile lemma hyaline, 2–4 mm long; +/– awned, awn to 13 mm long, geniculate, twisted. Palea present or absent or minute. Pedicellate spikelet(s) dorsally compressed, glumes membranous to coriaceous, 4–6.5 mm long, containing empty or staminate lemmas. Caryopsis reddish brown, 2.5–3 mm long, dorsally compressed.
Spikelets are frequently found with apices broken off.
Sorghum almum Parodi (non-FNW)
Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench nothosubsp. drummondii (Steud.) de Wet ex Davidse (i.e., sudangrass) (non-FNW)
widespread; found in most agricultural regions of the world
native from southern Eurasia and northern Africa east to India
tropical and temperate climates, best adapted to warm humid subtropics; a weed of arable land, along irrigated canals, roadsides, waste places
Sorghum halepense is an erect, perennial, rhizomatous grass, to 3.5 m tall. It is a principal weed of corn, cotton, and sugarcane, and a weed of many crops throughout the world including the United States. The disseminule is the principal means of spread, by water, wind, sticking to fur of animals and ingestion by animals, and commercial seed contamination. Control of S. halepense is difficult because new plants sprout from nodes on its extensive root-rhizome network. Sorghum halepense is one of ten species covered under the Federal Seed Act for which tolerance is applicable to its introduction (7 CFR 361.6(a)(2)).
portion of inflorescence (left); terminal spikelet with two pedicellate spikelets (middle); spikelet with pedicellate spikelet and rachis segment (right)