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Saccharum officinarum is a large, strong-growing species of grass in the genus Saccharum. Its stout stalks are rich in sucrose, a simple sugar which accumulates in the stalk internodes. It originated in New Guinea[1]. It arrived in the New World with the Spanish and is now cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries worldwide for the production of sugar, ethanol and other products.

Saccharum officinarum is one of the most productive and most intensively cultivated kinds of sugarcane. It can interbreed with other sugarcane species, such as Saccharum sinense and Saccharum barberi. The major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids.[2] About 70% of the sugar produced worldwide comes from S. officinarum and hybrids using this species.[3]