The Paris correspondent of the Journal of Commerce says that the sorgho, or Chinese sugar cane, which has attracted so much attention, formed a prominent feature in the late annual agricultural exhibitions of France. This plant is extensively and successfully cultivated in the south of France and in Algeria; and as an evidence of the extent and variety of the application of its material we may mention that at the late exhibition at Avignon, M. Prieur exhibited a group of 'samples illustrative of the metamorphoses to which he has subjected it. Nothing could be more curious than the succession of transformations there shown. In one corner could be seen the sorgho in stalk, such as it is when cut; a little further, were its fibres converted into thread, in skein; then a piece of linen woven with the thread; then a handsome cloak bordered with furs, which M. Prieur designs for the Prince Imperial. The most curious and complete array of the products of the sorgho, however, at the same exhibition, was that of Dr. Sicard of Marseilles. With the pith he has manufactured excellent sugar, which will favorably compare with any other whatever. By grinding the seed he has obtained flour and fecula, of which he has made bread and chocolate, which the many tasters have found palatable. He extracts, moreover, from the plant an abundance of alcohol of superior quality, and besides, a most agreeable wine, containing in large quantity all the tonic and other salutary elements of the juice of the grape. In addition, he makes paper out of it, of which he showed evidence in superior samples ; by chemical agents he gets from it gamboge, ginseng, carbon ; skeins of cotton, wool and thread dyed with sorghT) in those delicate and varying shades which hitherto have been found only in the stuffs and articles coming directly from China. We should add that the new derivations (as we may style them) from the cane are complete, and can be delivered to trade and industry at determinate prices.
This article was originally published with the title "Sorgho, or Chinese Sugar Cane"