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sorghum, tall, coarse annual (Sorghum bicolor) of the family Poaceae (grass family), somewhat similar in appearance to corn (but having the grain in a panicle rather than an ear) and used for much the same purposes. Probably indigenous to Africa, it is one of the longest-cultivated plants of warm regions there and also in Asia—especially in India and China. Because of its extreme drought resistance (because of the unusually extensive branching root system) and its ability to withstand hotter climates than corn, sorghum has been introduced to the United States and other regions.

The innumerable varieties are generally classified as the sweet sorghums or sorgos, yielding sorghum syrups and molasses from the cane juice; the broomcorns, yielding a fiber from the inflorescence that is used for making brooms; the grass sorghums (e.g., Sudan grass), used for pasture and hay; and the grain sorghums, e.g., durra, feterita, kaffir or kaffir corn, kaoliang, milo or milo maize, and shallu. Some varieties are perennials. The pulverized grain is used for stock and poultry feeds and, in the Old World, for food. Sorghums also provide cover crops and green manures, grain substitutes for many industrial processes that employ corn, and fuel and weaving material from the stems.

In the United States, sorghum is grown throughout the Great Plains area and in Arizona and California; about half the crop is used for forage and silage and half for feed grains. Only a small amount is grown for syrup, most of which is consumed locally. Johnson grass (S. halapense), a perennial native to the Mediterranean that is similar to Sudan grass, is naturalized in the United States, especially in the Southwest. It is a noxious weed in cultivated fields but is also used as a forage crop.

Sorghum is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.


See bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from Arabic kafir, “infidel,” “unbeliever”—that is, not a Muslim), a name used in the past (until the late 19thcentury) by neighboring Muslim peoples for the population ofNuristan (formerly Kafiristan), a high-mountain region ofnortheastern Afghanistan.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Kafir
1. a former name for the Xhosa language
2. Offensive (among Muslims) a non-Muslim or infidel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
This Islamic background and Kipling's references to Allah and Kafirs (antonym of mu'minoon) may reveal that these verses are originally Islamic.
Popular US department store chain Sears is halting sales of a baseball cap embroidered with the word "Kafir" after a prominent Muslim activist called it out on Twitter this week.
#Thanks Nasser Al-Qassabi." However, preacher Saeed bin Farowah described Al-Qassabi as a kafir after the first episode of the series, but soon withdrew his statement on Twitter, noting he made a mistake and had no right in excommunicating anyone.
It's a classic Chinese hot and sour soup but I've also thrown in a few little ingredients more prevalent in Thai cooking to add some more freshness to the dish – lemongrass, kafir lime leaves and fresh coriander.
"Europe does not understand how offensive it is for a Muslim to be called an infidel or kafir, and authorities are often not aware of what is being said within their countries, and how hate is being created, said Shaikh Abdullah.
Well-fed, well-provided for, discontented children running riot in classrooms and playgrounds chanting, Kafir, Hindi etc, at the slightest excuse.
East Asian people under the deep influence of Buddhism are considered by many Muslims as non-theists (kafir), while Muslims are seen as terrorists in armed wars (jihad) by many East Asians.
The Maidan Wardak governor's spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok Afghan News two militants, including a commander, were killed and six others were injured during a clash with Afghan forces in Kafir Kala area of Daimardad district on Tuesday noon.
Hubby likes his starters, so from the four on offer which ranged in price from PS6.95 to PS9.95 for a fisherman's soup with scallops and prawns, he opted for Tom Kha Gai kao poad onn Described as a rich coconut soup with chicken, baby corn, mushrooms, lemongrass and kafir leaves, this was beautifully presented in a large triangular bowl.
The carnivores, meanwhile, slurp out the coconut milk-infused green chicken curry, which condenses a balanced sense of jaggery, Thai-basil and kafir lime leaves.
"The normal situation, really, is to take money from the kafir [a derogatory Arabic term for non-Muslims].
For soup we had the Tom Yum which stood out for its authentic ingredients, including kafir lime leaves and lemongrass (Dh30).