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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Johnsongrass

Species Name: Sorghum halepense

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae





Plant Facts  
Origin Introduced, Mediterranean region
Duration Perennial
Season Warm
Distribution in the U.S. NE, KS, OK, TX, IA, MO, CO, NM
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics
    • Inflorescence: Panicle open (15-50 centimeters long), often purplish, branches whorled
    • Spikelet: Florets 2; in pairs, sessile spikelet fertile (4-5.5 millimeters long); pedicellate spikelet staminate or neuter (5-7 millimeters long); lemmas of fertile spikelets thin and hylaline, first fertile, nerves 2; second sterile, nerves 3-7
    • Awns: Fertile lemma awnless or awned (7-20 millimeters long), awn geniculate and twisted
    • Glumes: Sessile spikelet glumes subequal (3.5-5.5 millimeters long), indurate, shiny, nerves obscure pedicellate spikelet glumes subequal (3.6-5.6 millimeters long) nerves 5-9
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Sheath: Shaggy, densely hairy with long hairs
    • Leaf Blade Shape: Flat (7-20 centimeters long, 1-7 millimeters wide), densely hairy or velvety, midvein prominent
    • Ligule: Membranous (less than 2 millimeters long), rounded
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Inflorescence Type: Panicle 
    • Florets Per Spikelet: 2
    • Glumes:  Equal



Soil Type Various, best growth in moist silty soil
Habitat Widespread on disturbed sites, waste areas, cropland and rangeland in low condition
Successional Stage Early, but invades all stages


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