Sorghum propinquum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Sorghum propinquum (Kunth) Hitchc.

Family: Gramineae


  • Andropogon propinquum Kunth,
  • Sorghum affine (J.S. Presl) Camus,
  • S. halepense (L.) Pers. var. propinquum (Kunth) Ohwi.

Vernacular names

  • Wild sorghum (En)
  • Indonesia: glagah rayung (Javanese), kano-kano (Ternate), berang (Minahasa)
  • Malaysia: tebu tikus
  • Thailand: ya-pong
  • Vietnam: mía miền.


From southern India and Sri Lanka throughout South-East Asia and southern China.


The grain is used as famine food and the whole plant as a forage. It is cultivated as a forage in Taiwan.


  • Perennial grass with a few stout rhizomes.
  • Stem 2-3 m tall, erect.
  • Leaf blade 30-100 cm × 1-5 cm.
  • Inflorescence a loose panicle, 20-60 cm long, with racemes composed of 2-6 spikelet pairs (one sessile, one pedicelled) borne on the primary branches; pedicelled spikelet staminate or sterile; sessile spikelet 2-flowered but only upper floret perfect, deciduous when mature.
  • Caryopsis obovoid, very small.

S. propinquum is found on river banks, roadsides, open hill slopes in grassland and forest, up to 1000 m altitude. It is a wild diploid South-East Asian species which is thought to have contributed to the development of the grain sorghum cultivars. Its taxonomic status however, is still under discussion, as is the whole Sorghum taxonomy.

S. nitidum (Vahl) Pers. may have similar uses. It is also a wild perennial diploid with a similar distribution but without rhizomes and its stem is bearded at the nodes.

Selected sources

3, 4, 7, 19, 20, 27, 34.


  • H.N. van der Hoek & P.C.M. Jansen