The name 'rice straw' is somewhat misleading, as the plant from which it is obtained has nothing to do with rice. ‘Rice straw’ comes from sorghum, a type of cereal which is native to an area from the sub-tropics to the Balkans. Sorghum straw for the manufacture of ‘rice straw’, or more correctly, sorghum brooms obtained from the upper part of the entire plant, including the panicle.
In Germany, the ‘rice straw broom’ became known in the 1960s thanks to guest workers who emigrated from the Balkan countries. Rice straw does not absorb water, making this broom ideal for sweeping leaves and straw.