Wael Can

Wael Can (Wild Cane)

  • This species is highly flammable.
  • The flowering of Naviso signals the spawning of reef fish and the end of the rains.

Miscanthus sp.

Wael Ken grows in clumps and is reed or cane like in form. It reproduces underground through its root system, which sends out shoots that grow upwards. It is used as a traditional building material. The cane can also be used to drink kava once the pith is removed.


Leaf sheaths are either free from hair (smooth) or covered in long soft hairs. The leave blades are flat and linear and 18-75 cm long. They have a prominent mid-rib. The leaf margins are sharp with slight serrations.


Flower plumes grow from 0.3-2 m or more in height. Flowers are comprised of loose branching cluster with large fan shaped branches 10-40 cm in length. The flowers are purplish. These flower clusters persist through winter.

  • First fully open flower
  • Less than half the tree is in full flower
  • More than half the tree is in full flower
  • All of the tree is in full flower
  • No flowering
  • Less than half the tree has fruit
  • More than half the tree has fruit
  • All of the tree has fruit
  • No fruit

When to Look

  • Year round
  • The timing of flowering is uncertain in Vanuatu.

 Where to Look

  • This tree is mostly found in hot, humid, tropical lowlands (under 500 m in elevation). 
  • It prefers to grow in regions with annual rainfall between 1500 to 4300 mm, with summer or uniform rainfall patterns and a small or no dry season.
  • It is commonly found along shorelines and rivers.
  • It is more abundant in southern areas of Vanuatu than in the north. 

Similar Species

Many be confused with Miscanthus floridulus (Pit Pit or Pacific Island Silvergrass).