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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Panicoideae
Tribus: Andropogoneae
Subtribus: Anthistiriinae
Genus: Cymbopogon
Species: (57 accepted by Simon (et al.) (2013))
C. ambiguus – C. annamensis – C. auritus – C. bhutanicus – C. bombycinus – C. caesius – C. calcicola – C. calciphilus – C. cambogiensis – C. citratus – C. clandestinus – C. coloratus – C. commutatus – C. densiflorus – C. dependens – C. dieterlenii – C. distans – C. exsertus – C. fibrosus – C. flexuosus – C. gidarba – C. giganteus – C. globosus – C. goeringii – C. gratus – C. iwarancusa – C. khasianus – C. liangshanensis – C. mandalaiaensis – C. marginatus – C. martini – C. mekongensis – C. microstachys – C. microtheca – C. minor – C. minutiflorus – C. nardus – C. nervatus – C. nervosus – C. obtectus – C. osmastonii – C. pendulus – C. polyneuros – C. pospischilii – C. procerus – C. proxilus – C. pruinosus – C. queenslandicus – C. quinhonensis – C. ramnagarensis – C. rectus – C. refractus – C. schoenanthus – C. tortilis – C. traninhensis – C. tungmaiensis – C. winterianus – C. xichangensis

Cymbopogon Spreng., Pl. Min. Cogn. Pug. 2: 14 (1815)
Type species: Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) Spreng., Pl. Min. Cogn. Pug. 2: 15 (1815)


Andropogon sect. Cymbopogon (Spreng.) Steud.
Andropogon subg. Cymbopogon (Spreng.) Nees
Gymnanthelia Andersson in G.Schweinfurth, Beitr. Fl. Aethiop.: 229 (1867)


Sprengel, C.P.J. 1815. Plantarum Minus Cognitarum Pugillus 2: 14.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Cymbopogon in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 24. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Cymbopogon. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 24. 2013. Cymbopogon. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Nov. 24.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Cymbopogon. Published online. Accessed: 24 Nov. 2013.

Vernacular names
suomi: Sitrusheinät

Cymbopogon, also known as lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, Cochin grass, Malabar grass, oily heads, citronella grass or fever grass, is a genus of Asian, African, Australian, and tropical island plants in the grass family.[5][6][7][8] Some species (particularly Cymbopogon citratus) are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons (Citrus limon). The name cymbopogon derives from the Greek words kymbe (κύμβη, 'boat') and pogon (πώγων, 'beard') "which mean [that] in most species, the hairy spikelets project from boat-shaped spathes."[9]

C. citratus from the Philippines, where it is locally known as tanglad

Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) grow to about 2 metres (6+1⁄2 feet) and have magenta-colored base stems. These species are used for the production of citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent (especially mosquitoes and houseflies) in insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps. Besides oil production, citronella grass is also used for culinary purposes, as a flavoring.

East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass, is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to maritime Southeast Asia. While both can be used interchangeably, C. citratus is more suitable for cooking.

In India, C. citratus is used both as a medical herb and in perfumes. C. citratus is consumed as a tea for anxiety in Brazilian folk medicine,[10] but a study in humans found no effect.[11] The tea caused a recurrence of contact dermatitis in one case.[12] In the Caribbean, the tea is also brewed and consumed to boost immunity.

One study found the tea may exert an erythropoiesis boosting effect.[13]

In Hoodoo, lemongrass is the primary ingredient of van van oil, one of the most popular oils used in conjure.[14] Lemongrass is used in this preparation and on its own in hoodoo to protect against evil, spiritually clean a house, and to bring good luck in love affairs.[15]

In beekeeping, lemongrass oil imitates the pheromone emitted by a honeybee's Nasonov gland to attract bees to a hive or to a swarm.

Species included in the genus include:[3]

Cymbopogon ambiguus (Australian lemon-scented grass) – Australia, Timor
Cymbopogon annamensis – Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand
Cymbopogon bhutanicus – Bhutan
Cymbopogon bombycinus silky oilgrass – Australia
Cymbopogon caesius – Sub-Saharan Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Yemen, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Comoros, Réunion
Cymbopogon calcicola – Thailand, Kedah
Cymbopogon calciphilus – Thailand
Cymbopogon cambogiensis – Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam
Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass or West Indian lemon grass) –, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines
Cymbopogon clandestinus – Thailand, Myanmar, Andaman Islands
Cymbopogon coloratus – Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Myanmar, Vietnam
Cymbopogon commutatus – Sahel, East Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan
Cymbopogon densiflorus – central + south-central Africa
Cymbopogon dependens – Australia
Cymbopogon dieterlenii – Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa
Cymbopogon distans – Gansu, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, Nepal, northern Pakistan, Jammu & Kashmir
Cymbopogon exsertus – Nepal, Assam
Cymbopogon flexuosus (East Indian lemon grass) – Indian Subcontinent, Indochina
Cymbopogon gidarba – Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Yunnan
Cymbopogon giganteus – Africa, Madagascar
Cymbopogon globosus – Maluku, New Guinea, Queensland
Cymbopogon goeringii – China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan incl Ryukyu Islands, Vietnam
Cymbopogon gratus – Queensland
Cymbopogon jwarancusa – Socotra, Turkey, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Subcontinent, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Vietnam
Cymbopogon khasianus – Yunnan, Guangxi, Assam, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand
Cymbopogon liangshanensis – Sichuan
Cymbopogon mandalaiaensis – Myanmar
Cymbopogon marginatus – Cape Province of South Africa
Cymbopogon martini (palmarosa) – Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Vietnam
Cymbopogon mekongensis – China, Indochina
Cymbopogon microstachys Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Yunnan
Cymbopogon microthecus – Nepal, Bhutan, Assam, West Bengal, Bangladesh
Cymbopogon minor – Yunnan
Cymbopogon minutiflorus – Sulawesi
Cymbopogon nardus (citronella grass) – Indian Subcontinent, Indochina, central + southern Africa, Madagascar, Seychelles
Cymbopogon nervatus – Myanmar, Thailand, central Africa
Cymbopogon obtectus Silky-heads – Australia
Cymbopogon osmastonii – India, Bangladesh
Cymbopogon pendulus – Yunnan, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Vietnam
Cymbopogon polyneuros – Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
Cymbopogon pospischilii – eastern + southern Africa, Oman, Yemen, Himalayas, Tibet, Yunnan
Cymbopogon procerus – Australia, New Guinea, Maluku, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi
Cymbopogon pruinosus – islands of Indian Ocean
Cymbopogon queenslandicus – Queensland
Cymbopogon quinhonensis – Vietnam
Cymbopogon rectus – Lesser Sunda Islands, Java
Cymbopogon refractus (barbed wire grass) – Australia incl Norfolk Island
Cymbopogon schoenanthus (camel hay or camel grass) – Sahara, Sahel, eastern Africa, Arabian Peninsular, Iran
Cymbopogon tortilis – China incl Taiwan, Ryukyu + Bonin Is, Philippines, Vietnam, Maluku
Cymbopogon tungmaiensis – Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan
Cymbopogon winterianus (citronella grass) – Borneo, Java, Sumatra
Cymbopogon xichangensis – Sichuan

Formerly included[3]

Numerous species now regarded as better suited to other genera including Andropogon, Exotheca, Hyparrhenia, Iseilema, Schizachyrium, and Themeda.


Sprengel, Curt (Kurt, Curtius) Polycarp Joachim 1815. Plantarum Minus Cognitarum Pugillus 2: 14
lectotype designated by N.L. Britton & P. Wilson, Bot. Porto Rico 1: 27 (1923)
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Tropicos, Cymbopogon Spreng.
Soenarko, S. 1977. The genus Cymbopogon Sprengel (Gramineae). Reinwardtia 9(3): 225–375
Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 624 香茅属 xiang mao shu Cymbopogon Sprengel, Pl. Min. Cogn. Pug. 2: 14. 1815.
"Atlas of Living Australia, Cymbopogon Spreng., Lemon Grass". Archived from the original on 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
Bor, N. L. 1960. Grass. Burma, Ceylon, India & Pakistan i–767. Pergamon Press, Oxford
Cymbopogon caesius South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), PlantZAfrica
Blanco MM, Costa CA, Freire AO, Santos JG, Costa M (March 2009). "Neurobehavioral effect of essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus in mice". Phytomedicine. 16 (2–3): 265–70. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.04.007. PMID 17561386.
Leite JR, Seabra Mde L, Maluf E, et al. (July 1986). "Pharmacology of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf). III. Assessment of eventual toxic, hypnotic and anxiolytic effects on humans". J Ethnopharmacol. 17 (1): 75–83. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(86)90074-7. PMID 2429120.
Bleasel N, Tate B, Rademaker M (August 2002). "Allergic contact dermatitis following exposure to essential oils". Australas. J. Dermatol. 43 (3): 211–3. doi:10.1046/j.1440-0960.2002.00598.x. PMID 12121401. S2CID 46674505.
Ekpenyong, Christopher E.; Daniel, Nyebuk E.; Antai, Atim B. (January 2015). "Bioactive natural constituents from lemongrass tea and erythropoiesis boosting effects: potential use in prevention and treatment of anemia". Journal of Medicinal Food. 18 (1): 118–127. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.0184. ISSN 1557-7600. PMID 25162916.
Greer, John Michael (2016). The New Encyclopedia of the Occult (First ed.). Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications. p. 500. ISBN 978-1-56718-336-8.

Yronwode, Catherine (2002). Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure. Forestville, California: Lucky Mojo Curio Company. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-9719612-0-3.


Akhila, Anand (2010). Essential Oil-Bearing Grasses - The genus Cymbopogon. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-7857-7.

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