AskDefine | Define sorghum

Dictionary Definition



1 economically important Old World tropical cereal grass
2 made from juice of sweet sorghum [syn: sorghum molasses]

User Contributed Dictionary



/ˈsɔ.gəm/, /ˈsɔɹ.gəm/
  1. A cereal, Sorghum vulgare or Sorghum bicolor, the grains of which are used to make flour and as cattle feed.


See also

Extensive Definition

Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to Oceania and Australasia. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugar cane).
For more specific details on commercially exploited Sorghum see commercial sorghum.


Most cultivated varieties of sorghum can be traced back to Africa, where they grow on savanna lands. In ancient times sorghum was also grown in India. During the Muslim Agricultural Revolution, sorghum was planted extensively in parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The name "sorghum" comes from Italian "sorgo", in turn from Latin "Syricum (granum)" meaning "grain of Syria".
Tenth century records indicate that it was widely grown in Iraq, and became the principal food of Kirman in Persia. In addition to the eastern parts of the Muslim world, the crop was also grown in Egypt and later in Islamic Spain. From Islamic Spain it was introduced to Christian Spain and then France (by the twelfth century). In the Muslim world, sorghum was grown usually in areas where the soil was poor or the weather too hot and dry to grow other crops.
A sorghum species, Johnson Grass, is classified as a noxious weed.
The reclaimed stalks of the sorghum plant are used to make a decorative millwork material marketed as Kirei board.
Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plant's growth. Stressed plants, even at later stages of growth, can also contain toxic levels of cyanide.


  • Sorghum × almum
  • Sorghum × drummondii



External links

sorghum in Arabic: الذرة البيضاء
sorghum in Asturian: Sorghum
sorghum in Min Nan: Lô͘-sé
sorghum in Bulgarian: Сорго
sorghum in Catalan: Sorgo
sorghum in Czech: Čirok
sorghum in Danish: Durra
sorghum in German: Sorghumhirsen
sorghum in Spanish: Sorghum
sorghum in Esperanto: Sorgo
sorghum in French: Sorghum
sorghum in Galician: Sorgo
sorghum in Korean: 수수속
sorghum in Icelandic: Dúrra
sorghum in Italian: Sorghum
sorghum in Hebrew: דורה
sorghum in Latin: Sorghum
sorghum in Lithuanian: Sorgas
sorghum in Hungarian: Cirok
sorghum in Dutch: Sorghum
sorghum in Japanese: モロコシ属
sorghum in Norwegian: Durra
sorghum in Norwegian Nynorsk: Durra
sorghum in Polish: Sorgo
sorghum in Portuguese: Sorghum
sorghum in Russian: Сорго
sorghum in Simple English: Sorghum
sorghum in Slovenian: Sirek
sorghum in Serbian: Сирак
sorghum in Finnish: Durrat
sorghum in Swedish: Durror
sorghum in Tagalog: Batad
sorghum in Thai: ข้าวฟ่าง
sorghum in Vietnamese: Chi Lúa miến
sorghum in Turkish: Sorgum
sorghum in Ukrainian: Сорго
sorghum in Chinese: 高粱

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ambrosia, artificial sweetener, blackstrap, calcium cyclamate, cane syrup, clover honey, comb honey, corn syrup, cyclamates, edulcoration, honey, honeycomb, honeydew, honeypot, maple syrup, molasses, nectar, saccharification, saccharin, sodium cyclamate, sugar, sugar-making, sugaring off, sweetener, sweetening, sweets, syrup, treacle
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