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johnsongrass

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

USDA PLANTS Symbol: SOHA
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Herb


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.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S. - University of Georgia
Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy
Fire Effects Information System - USDA Forest Service
Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S. - USDA-APHIS
Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service