Herb: Johnson Grass

Latin name: Sorghum halepense

Synonyms: Holcus halapensis, Sorghum miliaceaum

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of Johnson Grass:

The seed is demulcent and diuretic.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry open habitats.

Edible parts of Johnson Grass:

Seed - raw or cooked. It can be used whole in a similar manner to rice or millet, or it can be ground into a flour and used as a cereal in making bread, cakes etc.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant is a potential source of biomass with yields of up to 19 tonnes per hectare.

Propagation of Johnson Grass:

Seed - sow April in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Division in mid spring as the plant comes into new growth. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry open habitats.

Known hazards of Sorghum halepense:

The pollen can induce hay fever.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.