Sorghum Molly’s Ruatoki Black



GENUS: Sorghum SPECIES: bicolour


Heritage Status: New Zealand

Bio-Region of Origin: Eastern Bay of Plenty

Number of Seeds: 40 enough to plant 5 sqm at .4 diagonal spacings

Description: This is a New Zealand heritage sorghum that has a wonderful story. It was selected and trialled here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty area, including Torere where the Koanga Institute was based for the 2009/10 growing season, for extraction of the juice to make sorghum syrup. A factory was built in Opotiki to crush the stems and harvest the juice, for sale as a sweetener. For some reason it all fell over but many older locals recall eating sugar cane fondly, and at least one gardener kept it alive for us today! This particular variety has very, very black shiny seeds which do not thresh out of the panicles anywhere nearly as easily as the others. In the Eastern Bay of Plenty sorghum was traditionally called “sugar cane” and was harvested and buried in the round so it could be enjoyed over a long period. It was taken to school for school lunches 40 years ago!!! Thanks Poihaere and also Molly.

Planting Instructions: Scatter sow into seed trays. Transplant into garden at 40cm diagonal spacing when 5-10cm high and soil reaches 15 degrees C temperature.