At a recent meeting of the United States Agricultural Society, as noticed by us in our last number, Mr. Leonard Wray, an English gentleman who has seen considerable of the world, having lived for several years in the East Indies and in South Africa, brought up the subject of the African Impliee. This plant resembles the Chinese sugar cane, and he asserts that it is the parent of the latter, having been caried by the Portuguese, in the palmy days of their kingdom, from Africa to China, and there cultivated. While living in Port Natal, he found it growing wild around the huts and in the fields of the Kaffirs, (who merely sucked it for its sweet taste) and was induced to try a series of experiments with its juice, as he thought-it might yield sugar. In this he was successful, and collecting a considerable amount of seed, he then sailed to Europe, being convinced that it could be cultivated in temperate climates, and sugar raised profitably from it. In France he obtained a silver medal, at the Exposition Universelle, for the specimen of his sugar and cane seed ; and at the Invitation of Governor Hammond of South Garolina, he came to the United States, in April last year. All the seed of the Imphee which he brought with him was planted on the Governor's plantation, and from choice selections about four hundred bushels of new seed have been saved. In a letter recently written by Governor Hammond— who is a thorough and enterprising agriculturist—he says, " I think this seed well worth distributing. They produce a sugar cane at least equal to the Sorgho in all respects, and some of them are twice the size. I am inclined to think, we shall ultimately find several of them (ripening at different periods) superseding the Sorgho altogether. I plant this year (1858) 60 acres, 4 of Sorgho, the remainder of Imphee." We really hope that the Imphee is a superior sugar producing plant, and that either from it, or the Sorgho, sugar may be manufactured with profit. We caution our farmers, however, in every section of our country, not to get so excited on the subject as to enter upon the very extensive cultivation of these plants, in the hopes of making .fortunes by engaging largely in their culture—let them be generally but not too extensively cultivated. If these plants are adapted to our varying climates, and if sugar can be made from them so as to be soldat remunerating prices, steady and cautious experiments will be more likely t* estabeh their success than hasty and excited efforts
This article was originally published with the title "Sugar Canes and African Imphee"