Sugarcane or Sugar cane (Saccharum) is a type of between 6–37 species of tall grasses (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae), native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Old World. They have stout, jointed fibrous stalks 2–6 m tall and sap rich in sugar. All the species interbreed, and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids.
Saccharum officinarum grown in Hawaii. There are 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of sugar cane plantations worldwide, with over 100 countries growing the crop. The top twenty producing countries harvested 1200 million metric tons of sugar cane in 2002 (more than 6 times the amount of sugar beet produced). The largest producers are Brazil, India, and China.
Raw sugar has a yellow to brown color. If a white product is preferred, sulfur dioxide may be bubbled through the cane juice prior to evaporation. This bleaches many color-forming impurities into colorless ones. Sugar bleached white by this sulfitation process is called mill white, plantation white or crystal sugar. This form of sugar is the most usually consumed form of sugar in sugarcane-producing countries.