Page author: Don Knoke
Sorghum halepense
Johnson grass

Distribution: Introduced and established in much of the United States; rarely persistent in the Pacific Northwest.

Habitat: Waste ground, especially where moist.

Flowers: July - October

Origin: Introduced from Mediterranean

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Strongly rhizomatous perennial, the culms 1-1.5 m. tall.


Sheaths open; ligules about 2 mm. long, hairy and fringed; blades flat, 10-20 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a large panicle up to 3 dm. long, the branch tips raceme-like, ending in 3 spikelets; lower nodes each with a sessile, perfect-flowered spikelet and a pedicillate, staminate spikelet, the 2 spikelets about 6 mm. long; pedicillate spikelet unawned; sessile spikelet with an awn 9-15 mm. long; glumes hardened, shiny, unnerved; lemmas and paleas papery and delicate.

Accepted Name:
Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.
Publication: Revisio Generum Plantarum 3: 368. 1898.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Holcus halepensis L.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sorghum halepense in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Sorghum halepense checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sorghum halepense atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sorghum halepense photos.

USDA Plants: Sorghum halepense information.

24 photographs:
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