Sugarcane species

Wild species

Main varieties are: "saccharum robustum", "Saccharum officinarum", "Saccharum spontaneum", "Saccharum sinense".
S. robustum is generally regarded as the original species. S. spontaneum is a variety of cane with high resilience to diseases but unable to produce sugar and S. sinense a Chinese variety.
Sugar production from cane began with cultivar S. officinarum.


The main varieties are actually hybrids whose type varies with soil and climate conditions as well as local traditions. These hybrids were obtained by interbreeding S. officinarum with other varieties to increase productivity, resistance or climate adaptation. First hybrids consisted of cross hybridizations between S. officinarum and S. spontaneum to increase disease resistance of S. officinarum. Those hybrids were then interbred back with S. officinarum to recover the the sugar producing genes lost by the interbreeding with S. spontaneum, an unsweetened variety.

Popular hybrids are cane reed (B 59.92) or cane straw (R570).