Sorghum. Andropogon arundinaceus. Broom corn, Kaffir corn.
Sorghum.—A cane-like plant resembling Indian corn, from which it is distinguished by producing large heads of small grains. There are a number of varieties and these are usually distinguished as "saccharine" sorghums and "non-saccharine" sorghums. The former contain a sugary sap and are referred to Andropogon arundinaceus var. saccharatus. The latter are commonly known as broom corn or Kaffir corn and are varieties of A. arundinaceus var. Durrha. The saccharine sorghums are cultivated in the United States to some extent as a forage crop. They are not used in the manufacture of sugar, owing to the difficulty of effecting its crystallization. Broom corn has been cultivated in the United States since 1798 and is especially adapted to the manufacturer of brooms and brushes. In some of the semi-arid districts of the West it is reported that cattle have been poisoned from eating of the green sorghum, usually of a second growth. This is apparently due to the production of hydrocyanic acid in the leaves.