Plume sorghum (Sorghum plumosum) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Friday, 9 July 2021 - 8:43am

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Plume sorghum (Sorghum plumosum) is one of many plant species found in the Western Australian rangelands. This page provides a summary of the plant's value for pastoralism. Pastoral lessees and station managers can use this information to assess pasture condition and trend.

Indicator value

Plume sorghum (also called perennial sorghum) is considered a desirable species in most pastures, but in black soil pastures (PDF 5.7MB) it is usually considered an intermediate species. It decreases under moderate grazing pressure.

Forage value

Plume sorghum is generally palatable to livestock when it is young but becomes coarse and unpalatable when mature. It is sometimes burnt at the start of the dry season to promote palatable new growth.


Black soils, pindan, river frontage and floodplain.

General description

Plume sorghum is a dense, tufted, erect perennial grass that grows up to 160cm tall, with thick stems. The leaf blades are blue-green and flat, up to 30cm long. The seed head consists of a light brown single spike 10–40cm long. It flowers from February to May.