Closely related to, and maybe no more than part of, Saccharum officinarum[
Saccharum aegyptiacum sinense (Roxb.) Andersson
Saccharum barberi Jeswiet
Saccharum officinarum barberi (Jeswiet) Burkill
Saccharum officinarum sinense (Roxb.) Burkill
Common Name: Chinese Sugarcane
Chinese sugar cane is a tall, vigorous, clump-forming perennial grass. The robust culms can be 150 - 500cm tall and 15 - 30mm in diameter.
The plant is cultivated, mainly in China and India, as a sugar crop. More tolerant of lower temperatures and drier conditions than sugarcane (S. Officinarum), it is considered to be of inferior quality because the stems contain more fibre and the juice contains less sugars[
Originated in cultivation.
Not known as a wild plant.
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The plant can be grown in lowland areas of the tropics and subtropics, at elevations from sea level to 300 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,000 - 1,500mm, but can tolerate 750 - 5,000mm[
]. It prefers mean annual temperatures within the range 20 - 32°c, tolerating 12 - 38°c[
]. Plants can survive light frosts[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, but can tolerate 4.5 - 7.5[
A sweet sap is obtained from the crushed stems[
]. This can be drunk as it is, though it is more commonly concentrated to make molasses or dried to make sugar[
The core of fresh stems is chewed as a sweet refreshment[
A wax obtained from the stems resembles carnauba wax. It is used in the production of furniture, shoe, and leather polishes, electrical insulating material, and waxed paper[
The sweet sap from the stems can be manufactured into alcohol for used as a fuel in infernal combustion engines[
The stems are a source of fibre used for making paper[
Bagasse is the residue of the cane after the sugar is extracted. It is used as a fuel and for the manufacture of fibreboard, paper pulp, plastic, furfural, and cellulose[
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