Sorghum is one of Africa’s greatest contributions to the world’s agricultural diversity, and is a traditional crop in the South. Adaptable and drought tolerant, sorghum varieties exist that provide grain, sweet syrup, animal fodder, or sometimes, more than one crop from a single planting! The main requirement for sorghum is heat—plant the seeds about ½” deep a couple of weeks after spring frosts are over and soil is really warm. Ordinary garden soil and moisture are sufficient to get a crop, although sorghum may be more productive under better conditions. Seeds are ripe at about the same time as sugar content of the stalks reaches maximum.
A gorgeous ornamental corn that grows to 10 feet tall with large seed sprays, 8-12 inches. The plant produces about a dozen stems with deep amber colored seeds covered by shiny black hulls.
Will make a great witches broom!
Grown for its shiny black seeds (which make an excellent syrup), Black Amber sorghum is also a beautiful plant. Stalks grow 6′ – 8′ tall.Sorghum forms deep roots that seek out moisture, and develops a waxy outer layer on its sturdy stems to hold in precious moisture– a very adaptable member of the grass family, it evolved in the semi-arid landscapes of Sub Saharan Africa.Seeds are ready to harvest when they are dry– usually in late September to early October. If you pinch them and a milky sap comes out, they are still developing. If you are harvesting sorghum stalks for sugar, it’s at this point you can taste test for sweetness. If they are sweet, strip the leaves off in preparation for harvest. The peeled stalks make a sweet treat to chew on while you work in your garden. Sorghum is higher in protein than corn, about on par with wheat.
The heritage name of this variety of sorghum is “TEXAS BLACK AMBER MOLASSES”. It is a gorgeous variety of sorghum with rich, shiny black coated seeds in the seed head. The seed head is
more compact that most Mixed Colors varieties- more like those in our new Colored Upright Sorghums. Most are 8-12 inches in length. The seed head is looser than the seed head of Black Kafir ,
and doesn’t contain nearly as many “straw fibers” as the Mixed Colors Broom Corns. The seeds themselves are amber colored , hence the name “Black Amber” Broom Corn. The shiny black hulls
cover the amber seeds. In the threshing process, almost all the seeds retain the shiny black seed coat. This heirloom variety comes from Waco, Texas and our seed source indicates the plant is
used for silage and the stalks are used for making molasses. The plant grows 8-12 feet in height and maturity seems be about 105-110 days.
The seed heads can be harvested anytime after developing, but they are the prettier when the black seeds develop and mature. Again this is another great sorghum for ornamental crafts and
There are many varieties of broom corn. Each variety will bear different seed heads with varying colors of seeds. This Mixed Colors Broom Corn seed is, as the name implies, a mixture of many different broom corn varieties. The colors that predominate in this mixture include gold, bronze, brown, black, burgundy, red, white/cream, “natural”, and all shades of these colors.
The seed heads form at the top of the plant (instead of a tassel) and vary in length from 24-36 inches long. Some of the seed stock varieties included in this mixture: Apache Red, Japanese Dwarf, Black Seeded, Texas Black Amber, Tennessee Red, Nicaraguan Broom, Keply #1 & #2, , Ramirez South Chile Line, Iowa Red, Is-3226, Hadley Kidd, Moyer Sonnen, Sattie Museum, Moyer Jensen Gold, African Sweet Sorghum, White Popping Sorghum, Hungarian Red, Hungarian Black, and many special Hadley varieties. Most have maturities of 100-110 days, but the broom corn heads can be harvested for brooms or ornamental uses anytime after the seed head develops.
Harvesting and drying the seed heads at various stages of development results in varied appearances in the color of the seed. As the plant matures, the seed heads will deepen in color and the seeds will become heavier and shiny. The seed heads can be cut during any stage of development and added as accents to fresh flowers. They are especially pretty with the autumn flowers, but can be used in any fresh flower bouquet
Soil and Water: Broomcorn produces the best brushes in deep, well-drained, rich soil. Water deeply once a week, after it is established. It is a heavy feeder so it needs fertile soil.
Planting and Growing: Plant 2 weeks after last frost. Plant a minimum of 4 rows for pollination in rows spaced at least 16" apart. Broomcorn loves the heat.
Harvesting and Storage: Harvest by cutting off the brushes when the seed pods fully change colors but the stems are still pliable. Dry by hanging upside down or place them in a container and they will dry in an arched shape.
Did You Know? Flat brooms made out of broomcorn, like the ones commonly seen today, were invented by the Shakers in the 19th century.
Soil Temperature: 65-80°F
Planting Depth: 1"
Germination: 7-10 Days
Height At Maturity: 10'-12'
Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Spacing After Thinning: 3"-4"