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Sorghum, Milo, Broomcorn, Durra, Karrir-corn, Guinea-corn, Shattercane

Sorghum bicolor

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sorghum (SOR-gum) (Info)
Species: bicolor (BY-kul-ur) (Info)
Synonym:Holcus bicolor
Synonym:Holcus sorghum
Synonym:Sorghum bicolor subsp. bicolor
Synonym:Sorghum bicolor var. technicum
Synonym:Sorghum vulgare
View this plant in a garden


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Augusta, Georgia

Rossville, Georgia

Champaign, Illinois

Custer, Kentucky

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

El Paso, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 29, 2013, MurrayTX from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant and had no clue as to what it was for the past 2 years. Mine likely came via "wild bird seed" having been scattered by messy eaters. It will begin growing in late spring and form a protective 2ft canopy to its neighboring plants to spare them from being baked in our desert sun. Its leaves show a vibrant dark grass green that is uncommon in most southwest native plants, affording a nice contrast in the garden. Flying insects rest in it, no pests bother it, the only ailment I have seen is its version of mosaic disease...causing red striations on the leaves (looks even better) and causing no damage. In midsummer it will create a flowering seed head that fliers love. In late summer those will turn to deep red seeds that are very impressive alone or en masse. I have sin... read more


On Oct 20, 2010, Tabacum from Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

10/20/10...Received the milo maize seeds in a trade to
try this summer....planted seeds in black carlisle muckland soil where I live here in zone 5, Ohio.
Plants struggled through a very wet spring, but grew
tremendously once heat set here at 90 degrees. what
a beautiful grain plant and vase filler for other flowers!
Plants grew to almost five feet tall. Beautiful seedheads!
Plan to grow more of these next year.


On Nov 4, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the grain sorghums primarily grown for stock feed. Does well in hot climates. A primary ingredient in bulk wild bird seed. Grows like a weed here in Georgia.


On Sep 17, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenées,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

I haven't grown this plant but it is grown locally as a grain crop here in SW France.
I understand it does not contain gluten and is therefore very useful for those following a gluten free diet.