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Sugar cane

Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum), tall plant of the grass family. It grows in tropical and semitropical regions throughout the world. The plant is made up of a solid stalk with joints at regular intervals. Each joint has a single bud. Stalks grow to a height of 7–26 ft (2–8 m), with a diameter of 1.5–2 in (3.5–5 cm). The color of the stalk ranges from yellow to green, violet, or red, depending on the variety. Long, thin leaves grow from the stalk, which contains a juice from which sugar and syrup is made. It was grown as early as 8,000 years ago in the South Pacific. The leading producers of sugar cane are Brazil, India, and Cuba. Sugercane by-products include molasses, rum, alcohol, fuel, and livestock feed.

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