SORGHASTRUM Nash. Indiangrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending; internodes solid,
glabrous, terete; nodes pubescent. Leaves basal and cauline, not present or absent; ligules membranous or a
ciliate membrane; blades flat, linear, lax, apex acuminate. Panicles open or narrow or contracted, terminal
, sheaths subtending the inflorescence not inflated or spathe-like; primary branches rebranching, spreading
or ascending, not aromatic; branches glabrous; pedicels not with a longitudinal groove, hairy, flattened.
Spikelets solitary or paired at each inflorescence node, usually similar in size and shape, disarticulation
below the glumes, dorsiventrally compressed, sessile spikelets fertile, pedicel without the
spikelet (rarely a rudiment). Pedicellate spikelets rarely present (usually represented by the
pedicel), greatly reduced. Sessile spikelet perfect; first glumes 0-keeled, gland-like depressions
or pits not present; abaxial surface flat or convex, smooth, indurate, glabrous, awnless; second
glumes length equal to first glumes; lower florets sterile; lemmas hyaline, entire, awnless; paleas absent;
upper florets perfect, lemmas hyaline (reduced to little more than an awn), bifid; paleas present or
absent, hyaline. Stamens 3; anthers golden brown. Caryopses small. Base chromosome number x=10.
A genus of about 20 species. Most species occur in the warmer parts of Africa or North and South
America. Our species are important livestock forages. The taxa are part of grasslands, savannahs and shrublands.