Two tests were conducted to detect the fungal mycelia of Ustilago scitaminea Syd. in apical meristems of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) buds. In the first test six varieties were selected from infected sugarcane fields, and in the second test three varieties obtained from a nursery field were artificially inoculated with the fungus. Sugarcane plants artificially inoculated with U. scitaminea were used as checks in the first test. Growing points were removed from the plant cane and stained for 4 to 18 h by using Sinha's technique. Microscopic observations indicated the absence and presence of smut mycelia in the apical meristem buds of healthy and infected sugarcane varieties. The staining method of growing point nodal buds can be useful for indicating fungicide efficacy in controlling sugarcane smut, and for sugarcane seed certification programs.