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Cymbopogon citratus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Supertribe: Andropogonodae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Subtribe: Andropogoninae
Genus: Cymbopogon
Type species
Cymbopogon schoenanthus
  • Andropogon sect. Cymbopogon (Spreng.) Steud.
  • Andropogon subg. Cymbopogon (Spreng.) Nees
  • Gymnanthelia Andersson

Cymbopogon (lemongrass) is a tall perennial plant. Its common names include lemon grass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, and others. There are between 55 and 70 species, most of them grow in Asia.

Uses[change | change source]

Lemongrass is native to the Philippines. It is a herb. It has a citrus taste and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.

Lemongrass is used as a flavouring in teas, soups, and curries. It is also used for poultry, fish, beef, and seafood dishes. Powdered Cymbopogon citratus is used as a tea in African countries such as Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Latin American countries such as Mexico.

These species are used for the production of citronella oil. This is used in soaps to repel insects (especially mosquitoes) in insect sprays, candles, and aromatherapy. The main chemicals in citronella (geraniol and citronellol) are antiseptics. They are used in household disinfectants and soaps.

References[change | change source]

  1. Sprengel, Curt (Kurt, Curtius) Polycarp Joachim 1815. Plantarum Minus Cognitarum Pugillus 2: 14
  2. lectotype designated by N.L. Britton & P. Wilson, Bot. Porto Rico 1: 27 (1923)
  3. Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. Tropicos, Cymbopogon Spreng.