White African Sorghum
White African Sorghum is a dual-purpose grain and syrup sorghum that grows 9-10 feet tall and produces white seeds partially enclosed by a black glume. As a grain, sorghum can be transformed into a flour and made into flatbreads, gluten-free loaves and other baked goodies. It can be cooked as a whole grain and eaten like rice or couscous or milled into grits. As a sweetener, sorghum cane can be pressed into delicious fresh juice, which can then be boiled down into syrup or fermented into alcohol.
White African Sorghum is originally from South Africa and was one of the first sorghum varieties to be grown in the United States in the 1850's, under the name Enyama Imphee. It was primarily grown for syrup but was largely abandoned with the development of sweeter varieties.
Days to maturity: 120
Seeds per pack: 220-230
Germination rate: 84% on 02/07/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct seed 1/4 inch into well-drained soil once the danger of frost has passed. Thin to 8-12 inches in row, rows 24-30 inches apart. Needs full sun and thrives in warm climates. Best to harvest cane for molasses when seed head has turned from the milk stage to soft dough and the external color from green to a purplish-red.
Seed keeping notes
While sorghum is generally self pollinating, people concerned with unwanted cross pollination should isolate various varieties of S. bicolor (including Johnson grass) by 990 feet. Alternatively, you can plant your different sorghums closer together and bag the plants' tassels when they emerge with weather resistant corn tassel bags, or with paper bags in drier climates. Allowing the seed heads to reach the hard dough stage is best when harvesting for seed.