As you make your way through the winding lush landscape of Mauritius, at this time of the year you will notice a wispy feather-like flower blowing gracefully in the wind above a bed of emerald green sugarcane – this is the sugarcane flower that goes by different names in the different countries in which it grows.
The flower itself stands tall and proud and is cream-coloured with a faint lavender/purple hue, and where you find them flowering in abundance, it is a true spectacle to behold and will surely add an extra touch of magic to your stay in Mauritius.
Flowering of sugarcane occurs when the plant reaches a relatively mature stage of development, going from the vegetative to the reproductive stage. The tropical conditions in Mauritius are ideal for the sugarcane flower to bloom fully, helping to ensure that sugarcane will always be around (hopefully!).
The flower is known as the ‘inflorescence’, ‘arrow’ or ‘tassel’ of the sugarcane plant, the latter two seemingly because of its arrow and tassel-like appearance, starting off wide at the bottom and thinning out towards the top. Each tassel amazingly consists of several thousand tiny flowers, with each one being capable of producing one seed each.
Sugarcane itself has many importance uses; of course there is the obvious one being that it provides sugar. However additionally, it also provides bio-fuel, fibre, fertiliser and a whole myriad of products and co-products with ecological sustainability. With sugarcane being cultivated currently on around 72,000 hectares of land in Mauritius, it remains an important contributor to the country’s economy.
If you are in Mauritius during the winter season here, be sure to keep an eye out for the stunning sugarcane flowers and be sure to get some pictures until they’re gone again for another whole year.
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