Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass)

Lemon grass is a tall, Asian grass, long-known for its attractive scent and medicinal properties.
Base of lemon grass stems

Cymbopogon citratus (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf

Common name: 

lemon grass, citronella

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Tropical grassland.

Key Uses: 

Food and drink, medicine, perfumery, ornamental, insect-repellent.

Known hazards: 

Lemon grass oil can cause contact dermatitis.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Poales
Family: 
Poaceae
Genus: Cymbopogon

About this species

The culms (stems) of this dense, clump-forming grass have been used in cooking and herbal medicine for centuries. More recently, the aromatic oils of the plant have been extracted and exported for use in perfumes. Lemon grass is common and widespread within its natural range, and also occurs in cultivation.

Synonym: 

Andropogon citratus

Genus: 
Cymbopogon

main info