Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. - Johnson Grass

Sorghum halepense plant

Family - Poaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Sorghum halepense nodeNode.

Sorghum halepense rhizomeRhizome.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Sorghum_halapense_liguleLigule.

Sorghum halepense basalsBasal leaves in-situ.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Sorghum halepense spikeletsSpikelets.

Sorghum halepense spikeletsAgain.

Flowering - June - November.

Habitat - Low meadows, cultivated ground, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This weedy species can be found throughout much of Missouri. The plant is easy to identify while in flower because of its pyramidal inflorescences which have a reddish tinge. This is one of the largest and most common weedy grasses in the state. It can reach 3m tall.
S. halapense excludes other species by forming large, dense, rhizomatous colonies. It is also a toxic plant which produces prussic acid in the summer and fall. The pollen is a cause of hay fever. Steyermark noted that the plant could be eradicated in cultivated areas by repeated deep plowing, then allowing the ground to lie fallow, and then cultivating the area with a different kind of crop.

Photographs taken near Springfield, MO., 7-4-03.


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