cane, in botany, name for the hollow or woody, usually slender and jointed stems of plants (particularly rattan and other bamboos) and for various tall grasses, e.g., sugarcane, sorghum, and also other grasses used in the S United States for fodder. The large, or giant, cane (Arundinaria macrosperma or gigantea), a bamboo grass native to the United States, often forms impenetrable thickets 15 to 25 ft (3.6–7.6 m) high—the canebrakes of the South. The stalks are used locally for fishing poles and other purposes, and the young shoots are sometimes eaten as a potherb.
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