Johnsongrass – Sorghum halepense

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

Poaceae (Grass family)

MI Status


Life cycle

Rhizomatous perennial.


Bright green leaves are hairless with a prominent, white midvein. Leaves are rolled in the bud and may be up to 24 inches long. Leaf sheaths are also hairless.


Very prominent, jagged, membranous ligule.


Erect, stout, hairless stems may reach 10 feet in height. Round to sometimes flattened stems are purple-tinted at the base. Plants form dense patches by purplish, thick, scaly rhizomes.

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead is a purple, very large, open and spreading, pyramid-shaped panicle that consists of numerous whorled branches. Seeds are oval, shiny and reddish brown.


Seeds and rhizomes.

Johnsongrass patch
Johnsongrass patch
Johnsongrass ligule
Johnsongrass ligule
Johnsongrass seedhead
Johnsongrass seedhead
Johnsongrass rhizome
Johnsongrass rhizome

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