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sugarcane

Habit Plants with short rhizomes.
Culms

3-6 m tall, 2-5 cm thick, clumped, glabrous throughout or nearly so, lower internodes swollen.

Sheaths

sometimes ciliate at the collar margins;

auricles present;

ligules 2-3 mm;

blades 70-150 cm long, 20-60 mm wide, usually glabrous, occasionally with hairs on the adaxial surfaces.

Peduncles

20-80 cm, glabrous;

panicles 50-100 cm long, to 20 cm wide, lanceolate;

rachises 30-80 cm, glabrous;

primary branches 10-25 cm, appressed to spreading;

rame internodes 3-6 mm, glabrous.

Pedicels

2-5 mm, glabrous.

Sessile

spikelets 3-5 mm long, 0.8-0.9 mm wide, white to gray.

Callus

hairs 6-10 mm, exceeding the spikelets, white;

lower glumes glabrous, 2-4-veined;

upper glumes 3-veined;

lower lemmas 3-4.5 mm, 2-3-veined;

upper lemmas without veins, entire;

awns absent;

lodicule veins not extending into hairlike projections;

anthers 3.

Pedicellate

spikelets similar to the sessile spikelets.

2n

= 80.

Saccharum officinarum

Discussion

Saccharum officinarum is native to tropical Asia and the Pacific islands. It is cultivated for sugar production in various parts of the world, including Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. It is also becoming popular as an ornamental plant for gardens in warmer parts of the contiguous United States, and appears to be established in some parts of the southeastern United States. A number of different, clonally propagated color forms are available. It hybridizes with S. spontaneum (see discussion above).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
AL; FL; LA; MS; TX; PR; Virgin Islands
[BONAP county map]
Parent taxa Poaceae > subfam. Panicoideae > tribe Andropogoneae > Saccharum
Sibling taxa
S. alopecuroides, S. baldwinii, S. bengalense, S. brevibarbe, S. coarctatum, S. giganteum, S. ravennae, S. spontaneum
Name authority L.
Source Flora of North America vol. 25, p. 614.
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