Saccharum spontaneum, Saccharum aegyptiacum,
Saccharum biflorum, Wild Sugarcane, Egyptian Sugar Cane,
Hebrew: קנה-סוכר מצרי, Arabic: قصب السكر

Scientific name:  Saccharum spontaneum L. var. aegyptiacum (Willd.) Hack.
Synonym name:  Saccharum aegyptiacum Willd., Saccharum biflorum Forssk.
Common name:   Wild sugarcane, Egyptian Sugar Cane
Hebrew name:  קנה-סוכר מצרי
Arabic name:  قصب السكر, Qasab al-sukkar
Family:  Gramineae / Poaceae, דגניים

Saccharum spontaneum, Saccharum aegyptiacum, Saccharum biflorum, Egyptian Sugar Cane,קנה-סוכר מצרי

Life form:  Hemicryptophyte
Leaves:  Alternate, entire, smooth
Flowers:  Green
Flowering Period:   January, September, October, November, December
Habitat:   Sand
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:   Med - Irano-Turanian - Saharo-Arabian
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Israel native plants
Location: Egypt, New Cairo


Derivation of the botanical name:
Saccharum, Greek saccharon, σακχαρον, a sweet juice distilled from bamboo; sugar.
spontaneum, spontaneous.
aegyptiacum, Egyptian.
biflorum, bi, twice; floreo, to bloom, to flower; 2 flowered.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Willd. is used to indicate Carl Ludwig von Willdenow (1765 – 1812), a German botanist, pharmacist, and plant taxonomist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Hack. is used to indicate Eduard Hackel (1850 – 1926), an Austrian botanist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Forssk. is used to indicate Peter Forsskål (1732 – 1763), a Swedish explorer, orientalist and naturalist.
The Saccharum spontaneum, distributed from North Africa to China, with a center of origin in northern India, is a species adapted to subtropical or even temperate climates.
  • The followers of Alexander the Great saw in India ca. 326 BCE "a kind of reed which gave honey without the help of bees".
  • Nevertheless, the often quoted mention of saccharon by Pliny the Elder, Book XII. 32, "collected in Arabia and India on reeds, white like gum, brittle to the teeth; the largest pieces are the size of a filbert. It is only employed as a medicine", was probably not sugar, but some silica seccretions of bamboos such as Bambusa arundinacea, known nowadays as tabaschir.

    Sugarcane was introduced by Arabs to Egypt in 641 CE. Arabs soon became crazy about sugar, and introduced both the plant and the technologies to the Mediterranean Basin. In 714, it arrives in Spain and in 827, it reaches Sicily.
    The Crusaders returned with what they perceived to be "sweet salt," after their campaigns in the Holy Land, and the sugar begin to rival honey as the sweetener in Europe.
    Wild cane Saccharum spontaneum contains little sugar and is immune to most diseases.


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