Botanical Name of Sugarcane

Introduction: Sugarcane

Saccharum officianarum is the scientific name of sugarcane. Sugarcane is a type of perennial grass in the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae that is used to make sugar. The plants have strong, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes.

Sugarcanes are members of the Poaceae family of flowering plants, which also includes maize, wheat, rice, sorghum, and a variety of forage crops. It is endemic to India, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea’s warm temperate and tropical climates. Because the canes can be used directly to generate ethyl alcohol, the plant is also planted for biofuel production, particularly in Brazil (ethanol).

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Scientific Classification of Sugarcane

  • Kingdom − Plantae

  • Phylum − Magnoliphyta

  • Order − Poales

  • Family − Poaceae

  • Genus − Saccharum

History of Sugarcane

Sugarcane was an old Austronesian and Papuan crop. Austronesian traders introduced it to southern China and India between 1200 and 1000 BC. Between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, the Persians and Greeks saw the legendary “reeds that make honey without bees” in India. They accepted and spread sugarcane farming.

Merchants began trading sugar from India, which was considered a luxurious and expensive spice. Sugarcane plantations emerged in the Caribbean, South America, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific islands in the 18th century. Sugar crop labourers were in short supply, therefore some people voluntarily accepted indentured servitude and others were forcibly imported as slaves.


Sugarcane is primarily grown by planting cuttings in the ground. Seed cane or cane sets are pieces of immature cane stalks used for planting that include two or more buds (eyes), generally three. In well-worked fields, seed cane is planted.

  • Mechanical planters are extensively used to open the furrow, fertilise it, drop the seed cane, and cover it with dirt.

  • Ratooning is another method of cane propagation, in which a piece of the stalk is left underground after the cane is harvested to produce a subsequent growth of cane, the ratoon or stubble crop. The ratooning technique is frequently repeated three times, yielding three profitable crops from a single original planting.

  • After each cycle, the production of ratoon crops falls, and at the end of the most recent economic cycle, all stumps are ploughed away, and the field is replanted.

Preparation of Soil

Sugarcane is farmed in a variety of soils, including red volcanic soils and river alluvial soils. The ideal soil contains a blend of sand, silt, and clay particles, as well as some organic matter. Before subsoiling (shaking up the subsoil), the land is ploughed and allowed to weather for a while. The crop requires well-drained soil, and according to the topographic characteristics of the fields, surface, subsurface, or both drains are provided.


During the growth season, sugarcane requires 2,000 to 2,300 mm of water to produce good yields. Irrigation, whether by spraying or placing water in furrows, can compensate for a lack of precipitation. Cane crops grow for 8–9 months in Louisiana, 15 months in Australia and Taiwan, and 18–22 months in Hawaii, South Africa, and Peru.

The optimal temperature for cane plant growth is around 20 degrees Celsius. Withholding water and maintaining a cooler temperature help cane mature. Harvesting and milling take place during the year’s dry, rather cool season and last for five to six months.


Sugarcane is fertilised from the time of planting through the end of the growth cycle, but not during the ripening period. The best fertilizer levels (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) depend on soil type, meteorological circumstances, and the type and length of the growing cycle.


Weeds in cane fields must be controlled until the cane stools create a good canopy, which restricts weed growth. Weeding is still mostly done by hand, though mechanized cane weeders with attached rakes have been created. Herbicides based on chemicals are frequently utilized.


Both human and automated methods are used to harvest the ripe cane. Some automated harvesters may cut cane stalks and sever and discard the tops of erect crops, which are then loaded into a bin trailer and transported to the mill by tractor or light railway waggon.

Plant Diseases

A variety of diseases affect the sugarcane plant.

  • Mosaic is caused by infection by one of numerous viruses, and it causes mottling or spotting of the foliage, as well as curling, dwarfing, and narrowing of the leaves. When the cane is split open, it has interrupted red and white spots and a sour alcoholic odor.

  • Red rot is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum falcatum (Glomerella tucumanensis), which causes the leaf to yellow and wither, finally causing the plant to die. Gummosis, the pathological production of gummy exudates as a result of cell degeneration, is a symptom of gumming disease (which is common in New South Wales, Australia). Xanthomas vasculorum is the organism that causes it.

  • Red rot is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum falcatum (Glomerella tucumanensis), which causes the leaf to yellow and wither, finally causing the plant to die. Gummosis, the pathological production of gummy exudates as a result of cell degeneration, is a symptom of gumming disease (which is common in New South Wales, Australia). Xanthomas vasculorum is the organism that causes it.

  • Fiji disease is a virus infection that causes elongated white to brown swellings on the undersides of leaves, stunting, and death. It was first reported in the Fiji Islands.

  • Leaf scald is a vascular disease caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas albilineans that causes creamy or greyish streaking on the leaves, followed by wilting. The fungus Helminthosporium sacchari causes Eyespot, which is characterised by yellowish oval lesions on leaves and stems.

Epidemics of these diseases have been prevented by replacing susceptible cane kinds with disease-resistant ones.


Sugarcane is primarily an industrial crop because the cane is given to sugar companies, which process the juice into a variety of products.

  • Sugarcane by-products also necessitate some type of industry. Only a small percentage of its output is used in small-scale industries to make local Khandsari and gur. Sugarcane products, such as sugar and fermented products, are critical in the production and preservation of a variety of medicines, including syrups, liquids, and capsules. Sugarcane juice is used to make white sugar, jaggery (gur), and a variety of by-products such as bagasse and molasses.

  • Bagasse is used to make fibre board, papers, plastics, and furfural, among other things.

  • Molasses is used in distilleries to make ethyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, citric acid, and other products. Rum is the greatest molasses-based alcoholic beverage. Molasses is also utilized as a feed ingredient for cattle.

  • Cattle enjoy the green tips of cane as a source of feed. In alkaline and saline soils, its remnants make excellent manure.


Q1. Sugar cane is primarily propagated by -------------------.

Ans: Planting of cuttings

Q2. Highest dose of nitrogen decreases -----------------.

Ans: Sucrose content

Q3. What is the scientific name of sugar cane?

Ans: Saccharum officinarum

Q4. Most critical stage of irrigation is ---------.

Ans: Formative stage

Q5. Best temperature for sugar growth is -------------.

Ans: 28 to 32 0C

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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