Common Name
Sugar Cane
Hawaiian Name
Scientific Name
Saccharum officinarum L.


Next to Kaiona


Bottom of Plant


Location On Campus

On our campus we found that the sugar cane plant is by the Kaiona building across from the garden.

Natural Habitat

 The sugar cane plant is found in altitudes of 600 meters on Windward coasts and 933 meters on Leeward or southerly coasts. A lot of times you can find sugar cane growing wildly near streams, on mountains, and in forests.


Cultural Information

Sugar cane was introduced to Hawai‘i by the Polynesians. The Polynesians brought this plant to Hawai‘i because is travels well, is easy to plant, and is a nice addition to everyday life. It was a source of sugar.

Plant Description


  •  Fiberous roots


  • The stem is also known as a stalk
  • It grows from 182-457 cm and sometimes even taller
  • The stems are about 2-5 cm thick
  • Rhizome stems
  • Thick and partially grow underground


  • Leaves are green
  • Come in a cluster at the top of the stalk
  • 30 cm long and 3 cm wide
  • Smooth, jagged edges
  • The leaves at the bottom of the stem hang low


  • Blooms in November and December
  • Sunlight can affect blooming
  • About 30-60 cm long
  • Rosy-lavender color
  • Bisexual


  • Can be made through hybridization  


  • Bees pollinate the sugar cane flower  


  • Leaves get cut
  • Stalk gets cut into 2-3 pieces
  • Stalks are planted in a hole about 15-20 cm deep
  • Soil on bottom of hole gets softened
  • The stalk gets planted then covered with soil  

Other Interesting Facts:

  • The largest variety of sugar cane had 360 stalks
  • 10 m tall
  • Sugar cane is a large grass
  • Found in places such as Florida and Louisiana, other than Hawai‘i

Web Site Links

Sugar Cane in Hawaii

This website shows what workers do to sugar cane at the mill.

Plants Topics

This website shows the scientific name, common name, and the symbol of a certain plants.

Sugar Cane Ko

This website shows what sugar cane is and what the old Hawaiians used to use it for. 



Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawaii: Ko. Lynton Dove White,1994. Hawaiian Independence. 10 March 2003. <>

Krauss, Beatrice. Ethnobotany of Hawaii. Hawaii: U.H. Dept. of Botany, copyright unknown.

Krauss, Beatrice H. Plants In Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

Pollination Services: No Food Without Them. Tawna Mertz. <Nature's Services. 12 March, 2003. <>

Sugar Cane in Hawaii. Kalaheo Elementary School.10 March 2003. <>

Wagner, Warren L., Derral R. Herbst and S. H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii Revised Edition Volume 2. Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1999.

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