BugwoodWiki Article

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

Overview

Appearance
Sorghum halepense is a tall (up to 8 ft. [2.4 m]), rhizomatous, perennial grass that invades open areas throughout the United States.
Foliage
The 2 ft. (0.6 m) long, lanceolate leaves are arranged alternately along a stout, hairless, somewhat upward branching stem and have distinct, white midribs.
Flowers
Flowers occur in a loose, spreading, purplish panicle.
Fruit
Fruits are also produced in a panicle. Seeds form in the sessile spikelets.
Ecological Threat
Sorghum halepense is adapted to a wide variety of habitats including open forests, old fields, ditches and wetlands. It spreads aggressively and can form dense colonies which displace native vegetation and restrict tree seedling establishment. Sorghum halepense has naturalized throughout the world, but it is thought to be native to the Mediterranean region. It was first introduced into the United States in the early 1800s as a forage crop.
General Description
Perennial grass with culms reaching up to 3 m high and a purplish panicle up to 50 cm in length.
Pest/Weed Considerations
Sorghum halepense is considered to be one of the ten worst weeds in the world. Fifty-three countries, ranging in latitude from 55 N to 45 S report Johnson grass as a major problem; the problem is most serious in the region from the Mediterranean to the Middle East and India, Australia, central South America and the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Diagnostic Characteristics
The distinguishing characteristics of Sorghum halepense are the ribbed leaf sheath, the conspicuous midrib, the large, purplish panicle and the extensive rhizome system. Panicum bulbosum, which has been confused with Sorghum halepense, can be recognized by its short, knotty rhizomes and bulbous swellings at the base of the culms.

Resources

Selected Images


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0581065

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Flower(s)
Jil Swearingen
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1120383

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Flower(s)
James H. Miller
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1195034

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Spikelet(s)
Julia Scher
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1265102

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
Barry Fitzgerald
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1459234

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Infestation
Steve Dewey
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1459236

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Seedling(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459237

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Root(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459239

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Feature(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459241

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459242

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Rhizome / Stolon
Steve Dewey
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1459244

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Feature(s)
Steve Dewey
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1624081

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Infestation
Bonnie Harper-Lore
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2100036

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
Charles T. Bryson
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2149085

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Root(s)
Chris Evans
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2149089

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
Chris Evans
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2149092

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Foliage
Chris Evans
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johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Foliage
Chris Evans
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2149095

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Stem(s)
Chris Evans
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johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Infestation
David J. Moorhead
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5307057

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
USDA PLANTS Database
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5309001

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Plant(s)
USDA PLANTS Database
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5309002

johnsongrass
Sorghum halepense
Fruit(s)
Steve Hurst

Maps


EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Regulated List

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

State Regulated List
Legend
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Sorghum

Other System Links

Plants: SOHA
Bayer: SORHA
GRIN: 35119
ITIS: 42111
NPDN Pest: PCACWBC
NPDN Host: 22033

Synonyms and Other Names

Related Scientific Names:

Holcus halepensis (L.) Pers.(Synonym)
Sorghum miliaceum (L.) Pers.(Synonym)

Categories

Category: Grass or Grasslike