Cymbopogon citratus

(DC.) Stapf
Common names: Lemon grass
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 25. Treatment on page 666.

Plants perennial. Culms to 200 cm, flexuous; nodes not swollen. Basal sheaths closely overlapping, gaping at maturity, forming somewhat flattened fans, glabrous, strongly glaucous; ligules 0.5-2 mm, truncate; blades to 90 cm long, 6.5-15 mm wide. Inflorescences to 60 cm, nodding; rames 10-25 mm; internodes and pedicels pilose on the margins and dorsal surface. Sessile spikelets of heterogamous pairs 5-6 mm; lower glumes shallowly concave below, flat distally, keels narrowly winged; upper lemmas entire or bidentate, unawned or with a 1-2 mm awn. Pedicellate spikelets 4-4.5 mm, unawned. 2n = 40, 60.


Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Fla.


Cymbopogon citratus is now known only in cultivation, even in Asia. Young shoots are used as a spice, and the oils are extracted for lemon oil. It has been grown in Florida.

Selected References


Lower Taxa