Le sorghoThe common sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), or sugar sorghum, is an annual herbaceous plant of the family of Poaceae (Graminaceous). It is a plant of African origin, cultivated either for its seeds, the sorghum grain, or as fodder, the fodder sorghum. The sorghum is the fifth world cereal, after maize, rice, wheat and barley.
Scientific name: Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (synonym: Sorghum vulgare), family of Poaceas, subfamily of Panicoideae, tribe of Andropogoneae.
Common noun: sorghum grain, large millet (Africa), Indian millet, Egyptian wheat.
Description: The plant of the sorghum grain resembles maize plant. Its deeper roots enable it to better resist drought.
It is a plant of 1 to 3 meters tall, with full cylindrical stem carrying a final inflorescence in compact panicle which gathers spikes of one or two bisexual flowers. Sorghum is a perennial plant and can be harvested several times a year. However it is treated as an annual plant. The seed is a caryopse of approximately 4 mm. At maturity, its water content is still relatively high (25 to 30%) and harvest must be dried quickly.
This plant contains a glucoside, the durrhine, which is toxic because it involves the formation of hydrocyanic acid. The content of durrhine decreases as the plant grows and especially after flowering. It is preferable to steam the grains before consuming them.