|Saccharum officinarum subsp. var.||Sugar cane|
Sugarcane is any of six to thirty-seven species (depending on taxonomic system) of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae). Native to warm temperate to tropical regions of Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six meters (six to nineteen feet) tall. All sugar cane species interbreed, and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Saccharum officinarum, Linn. Sugar-cane. St. 8-20 ft. high, 1-2 in. thick. —The different cult. varieties are distinguished by color and height of st.
Once cut, sugarcane begins to lose its sugar content.
Although sugarcanes produce seeds, modern stem cutting has become the most common reproduction method. Each cutting must contain at least one bud. Once planted, a stand can be harvested several times; after each harvest, the cane sends up new stalks, called ratoons. Successive harvests give decreasing yields, eventually justifying replanting. Two to ten harvests may be possible between plantings.
Pests and diseases
The cane grub can substantially reduce crop yield by eating roots; it can be controlled with Confidor or Lorsban. Other important pests are the larvae of some butterfly/moth species, including the turnip moth, the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis), the Mexican rice borer (Eoreuma loftini); leaf-cutting ants, termites, spittlebugs (especially Mahanarva fimbriolata and Deois flavopicta), and the beetle Migdolus fryanus. The planthopper insect Eumetopina flavipes acts as a phytoplasma vector, which causes the sugarcane disease ramu stunt.
Numerous pathogens infect sugarcane. See the list of sugarcane diseases. Grassy Shoot Disease (SCGS) caused by Phytoplasma, Whiptail disease caused by smut (Ustilago scitaminea), Pokkah Boeng caused by Fusarium moniliforme, Red Rot disease caused by Colletotrichum falcatum are important and widely found diseases of sugarcane. Among viruses, Sugarcane mosaic virus, Maize streak virus, Sugarcane Yellow Leaf Virus are found seldom.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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