Saccharum bengalense

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Saccharum bengalense Retz.
  • Synonyms : Saccharum munja Roxb.
  • Common Name : Haadol, Sarkhant, Munj, Sarpankho
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Saccharum bengalense Plant :

  • Habit : A perennial herb with stem erect from a stout root-stock, branching after the second year.
  • Leaves : Broadest about the middle, tapering to a slender point, mid-rib white, sheath bearded about the mouth, ligule short, hairy.
  • Inflorescence and Flowers :
    • Panicleerect, ovoid or oblong, branches half-whorled, clothed with soft-cream-coloured rarely purplish hairs.
    • Spikes 2.5-7.5 cm, rachis capillary.
    • Spikelets lanceolate, pale green violet or brownish. Glume 4, first glume dorsally flat or depressed, nervelss except the keels, second glume lanceolate, shortly acuminate, third glume oblong lanceolate, fourth glume mucronate.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : During winter.
  • Significance :
    • This species is of great value for the fibre (Munj) extracted from the upper leaf sheaths of the flowering culms. For this purpose, only the two uppermost leaves are used, as they have longest sheaths.
    • It is extensively employed in the manufacture of cordage and the thicker lower portions making winnowing trays and cart convers and the thicker lower portions are used for making screens and small cheap chairs, stools, tables and baskets.
    • The grass is good source of furfural.
    • It can also be tried as a potential source of alcohol.