Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Sorghum halepense
Johnson grass, Johnsongrass

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Fields, roadsides, wastelots, and other disturbed areas.

Flowers: July-October

Origin: Introduced from Mediterranean

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


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.

OregonFlora: Sorghum halepense information.

E-Flora BC: Sorghum halepense atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sorghum halepense photos.

USDA Plants: Sorghum halepense information.

24 photographs:
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