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Botanical Name: Sorghum vulgare
Synonyms: Sorghum Seeds. Sorghum Saccharatum (Moench). Guinea Corn.
Common Name: Broomcorn.
Part Used: Seeds.
Habitat: Sorghum vulgare native to Australia, with some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Spain. Italy and south of Europe.
Known as Millet or Guinea Corn. Is cultivated in the same way as oats or barley in northern Europe; the seeds are small, round and white, the plant is canelike and similar to Indian Corn, but producing large heads of the small grain. Sorghum is generally classified under two varieties, saccharine and non-saccharine. The saccharine sorghums are not used for producing sugar owing to the difficulty of crystallization.
Sorghum vulgare is an annual grass like other sorghums, it grows 6 to 15 ft (1.8 to 4.6 m) tall, although dwarf varieties are only 3 to 7 ft (0.91 to 2.13 m) in height. The upper peduncle is normally 8 to 18 in (200 to 460 mm) long, topped by a branched inflorescence or panicle, from which the seed-bearing fibers originate. The fibers are usually 12 to 24 in (300 to 610 mm) long, but can be up to 36 in (910 mm) long; they are branched toward the tip where the flowers and seed grow. The seeds number about 30,000/lb (70,000/kg), with feed value similar to oats. A ton of the fibrous panicle makes 900 to 1200 brooms……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Plants selected for long-panicle branches probably originated in central Africa, but the variety was known to be used for broom-making in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. It was first described in Italy in the late 1500s
The species is grown for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warm climates worldwide and naturalized in many places. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).
It yields a very white flour which is used for making bread, and the grain is used for feeding cattle, horses and poultry. The grain is diuretic and demulcent if taken as a decoction. The plant is extensively cultivated in America for the manufacture of brooms and brushes.
The decoction of 2 oz. of seeds to 1 quart of water, boiled down to 1 pint, is used in urinary and kidney complaints.
In the semi-arid districts of western America it is reported that cattle have been poisoned by eating the green sorghum of the second growth; possibly due to hydrocyanic acid in the leaves.