Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Millet (from the Latin mille, "a thousand," from their numerous small fruits) is a name applied to a variety of cereal grains, much grown in hot countries for human food, but not entering largely into English commerce. The name is chiefly applied to Panicum miliaceum and other species of that genus, whilst Great Millet, Indian Millet, and Turkish Millet are names for Sorghum vulgare, the Durra (q.v.). P. miliaceum, the common millet, has been cultivated from prehistoric times in Asia, Egypt, and southern Europe, its grain occurring in the Swiss lake-dwellings. It requires a rich, friable soil, and yields a very nutritious grain, which makes excellent bread. P. italicum, Italian Millet, seems to be indigenous in Japan, China, and the Indian archipelago, and its cultivation spread at an early period through Russia and Austria to Switzerland, where its grain is found in the oldest lake-dwellings. A single spike of millet often yields two ounces of grain, the total yield being five times as much as wheat. In England millet is mainly used for poultry.