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Genus Saccharum Family Poaceae

Description: Tall, tufted perennial with cane-like stems and solid internodes exuding sugary syrup when cut; culms present in vegetative stage and growing to 6 m high and 6 cm diam.; axillary bud and 'root ring' (ring of tissue containing root primordia) above each node.

Leaves with ligule membranous, hairs at the orifice; blade hairy, margins scabrous, auriculate or not, midrib conspicuous.

Inflorescence a large open panicle, plume-like and silky.

Spikelets borne in pairs, 1 sessile and 1 pedicellate, each subtended by a ring of silky hairs longer than the spikelet, with 2 florets, lower floret reduced, upper floret bisexual; pair of spikelets falling together. Glumes equal, hardened, keeled. Lower lemma sterile, papery, enfolding a small palea of the fertile floret, lemma of upper (fertile) floret absent. Palea thin, narrow.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 6 species, N.G, Asia, Africa, America. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Saccharum officinarum

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