from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A variety of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) having a stiff, erect, much-branched flower cluster, the stalks of which are used to make brooms.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a variety of grass of the species Sorghum vulgare.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A tall variety of grass (Sorghum vulgare technicum), having a joined stem, like maize, rising to the height of eight or ten feet, and bearing its seeds on a panicle with long stiff branches, of which brooms are made.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A variety of Sorghum vulgare, a tall reed-like grass, rising to a height of 8 or 10 feet, a native of India.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. tall grasses grown for the elongated stiff-branched panicle used for brooms and brushes
The sorghum known as "broomcorn" was supposedly first cultivated in the United States by Benjamin Franklin.
It is miles of split-rail fence, moss on a wood shingle roof, broomcorn and flax in a pioneer garden.
A few years ago while on a trip to colonial Williamsburg, seeds for broomcorn were purchased, sorghum vulgare.
There are several major domesticated cereals in the world, namely barley, foxtail and broomcorn millet, maize, rice, and wheat.
In the United States broomcorn became, if anything, even more important than in Europe.
In 1781, Thomas Jefferson listed broomcorn among six important agricultural crops of Virginia.
In the competition with man-made fibers and the vacuum cleaner - both of which should in theory have swept it aside - broomcorn is holding its own in the United States.
He apparently brought the seed from England in 1725 (when he was only 19) and grew the first broomcorn in North America.
For instance, broomcorn stalks are used for paper in France.
Considerable development of broomcorn subsequently took place in the United States, but apparently few (if any) other countries have given the crop much attention.