Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lemon Grass, Cymbopogon citratus

Cymbopogon citratus
 Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass is now a familiar plant across Australia ,with the distinctive lemon fragrance of the leaf stems being an essential ingredient in Asian cooking. It forms a well sized clump to about a metre in height and is decorative enough to be included in an ornamental garden. Planting it in groups of say 5 plants together, makes a dramatic impact in any landscape.
The clumps make a nice rustling sound in the breeze and release their lemon fragrance on a hot summer day. In cooler climates it needs to be planted in a sunny warm position with well drained soil. Over winter, some leaves may turn brown and it will look straggly but with the return of warm weather it comes back to life. It forms a lush green clump if given plenty of summer water.Lemon Grass is most associated with Thailand where it is called ta krai and in Vietnam where it is known as xa.... a short and sweet name. Some other species of Cymbopogon worth mentioning are the following. Malabar lemongrass C. flexuosus is used to produce the essential oil known as East Indian lemongrass oil. C martini called palma-rosa grass is used to produce a sweet scented geranium type oil. C. nardus is used to produce citronella oil in Sri Lanka and C winterianus is used to produce citronella oil in Java, Indonesia. 'Citronella' is the Italian word for lemongrass. "Sontol" in Spanish.
2017 update: I have plants of Palma-Rosa grass available.

1 comment:

  1. Flrorez,this plant can be the same what we, in Brasil, called Citronella?