Anzoua, Kossonou Guillaume, Yamanda, Toshihiko and Henry, Robert J. (2011). Miscanthus. In Chittaranjan Kole (Ed.), Industrial Crops (pp. 157-164) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-21102-7_9
The genus Miscanthus was first described in 1855 by Andersson (Öfvers Kungl Vet Adad Förh Stockholm 12:151–168, 1856). Its members are typical tall C4 grasses belonging to the Poaceae family, showing close relationships with the species in the Andropogoneae tribe. The genus is naturally distributed in eastern and southeastern Asia. Certain species have been introduced into Europe and northern America where they have received widespread attention for their ornamental value. Traditionally the genus has attractive features for domestic use as a livestock feed, green manure, and as roof material for traditional homes (Koyama, Grasses of Japan and Its Neighboring Regions: An Identification Manual. Kodansha, Tokyo, Japan, 1987) and more recently as a genetic source for sugarcane breeding. Although it has had a long tradition of use, its recent evaluation as a biomass feedstock for bioenergy production has given the genus industrial attention. The use of Miscanthus, a non-food crop, as an energy crop avoids food security risks associated with many other potential energy crops. Most research and commercial production have used a triploid sterile hybrid, Miscanthus × giganteus, which is thought to be a spontaneous hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. The use of M. × giganteus may avoid the significant problem of invasive weediness associated with other Micsanthus species. Miscanthus taxonomy has largely been examined in order to broaden the genetic resources available, but it is complex and confusing so that it is often subjected to modifications and discussed inconclusively. Between 14 and 20 species of Miscanthus have been recognized, among which Miscanthus sinensis, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, and their hybrid Miscanthus × giganteus are distinguished. The present chapter reviews the role of Miscanthus on the environment and its wealth that is genetically poorly characterized.