Taxon: Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf

Genus: Cymbopogon
Family: Poaceae (alt.Gramineae)
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Subtribe: Anthristiriinae
Nomen number: 12797
Place of publication: Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1906:357. 1906
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 08-Feb-2006 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 19-Sep-2017
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9)
Accessions: 3 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

  • lemongrass  (Source: HerbSpices) - English
  • West Indian lemongrass  (Source: World Econ Pl) - English
  • citronelle   - French
  • citronnelle   - French
  • herbe citron  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • lemongrass  (Source: pers. comm.) - French
  • verveine des Indes  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Lemongras  (Source: HerbSpices) - German
  • westindisches Zitronengras  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • Zitronengras  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • erva-cidreira  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Portuguese
  • cana-cidreira  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • cana-limão  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • capim-cidró  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • capim-santo  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • patchuli-falso  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pasto limón  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • zacate dete  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • zacate limón  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • sontol  (Source: Man CostaR) - Spanish (Costa Rica)
  • yerba luisa  (Source: Voc Nombr Vulg) - Spanish (Peru)
  • citrongräs  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (fide CultTropS; Pl Res SEAs 19:95. 1999)
  • Materials: essential oils (used as a masking fragrance fide Pl Res SEAs 19:98. 1999)
  • Materials: lipids (fide Ency CNatIn)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide Ency CNatIn; CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Weed: (fide Weed CRCAustralia 145. 2007)

Distributional Range:



  • Southern America

    • Southern South America: Argentina ; Chile

  • Cultivated

  • Africa

    • Northern Africa: Algeria ; Egypt ; Morocco
  • Asia-Temperate

    • China: China Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Yunnan, Zhejiang
    • Eastern Asia: Taiwan
    • Western Asia: Cyprus
  • Southern America

    • Brazil: Brazil
    • Caribbean: Cuba ; Haiti ; Jamaica ; Puerto Rico ; Virgin Islands (U.S.) St. Croix, St. Thomas
    • Central America: Belize ; Costa Rica ; El Salvador ; Guatemala ; Nicaragua ; Panama
    • Northern South America: Venezuela
    • Western South America: Bolivia ; Colombia ; Ecuador ; Peru


  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & M. T. Strong Flora of the West Indies (on-line resource). (F WIndies Online)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Anjaria, J. V. 1989. Herbal Drugs: Potential for industry and cash. In: G. E. Wickens et al., New crops for food and industry (New Crops Food Ind) 90.
  • Bellenot, D. 2009. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Bor, N. L. The grasses of Burma, Ceylon, India, and Pakistan. (Grass BCIP)
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India 1950. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. Raw materials. (Wealth India RM) 2:412-414.
  • Craker, L. E. & J. E. Simon, eds. Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, 2 vols. (HerbSpices)
  • Dassanayake, M. D. & F. R. Fosberg, eds. 1994. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. (F Ceylon) 8:130.
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). (EuroMed Plantbase)
  • FNA Editorial Committee Flora of North America. (F NAmer)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Forzza, R. C. et al., coord. Lista de espécies da flora do Brasil (on-line resource). (L Brasil Online)
  • Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2011. Catálogo de la familia Poaceae en Colombia (Darwiniana) 49:139-247.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Hammel, B. E. et al., eds. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. 2003- (Man CostaR)
  • Hollyman, K. J. et al. 1993. Les noms français des plantes calédoniennes : étude lexicographique et lexicologique 222 pp.
  • Instituto de Botánica Darwinion Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares. (F ConoSur)
  • Lazarides, M. The tropical grasses of Southeast Asia. 1980 (Grass SEAs)
  • Leung, A. Y. & S. Foster Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics, ed. 2. 1996 (Ency CNatIn)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Missouri Botanical Garden W³Tropicos (on-line resource). (TROPICOS)
  • Oyen, L. P. A. & Nguyen Xuan Dung, eds. 1999. Essential-oil plants (Pl Res SEAs) 19:95-98.
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Randall, R. P. The introduced flora of Australia and its weed status. (Weed CRCAustralia)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Rehm, S. & G. Espig The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics. 1991 (CultTropS)
  • Soukup, J. 1971. Vocabulario de los nombres vulgares de la flora peruana (Voc Nombr Vulg) 106-107.
  • Ugarte, E. et al. 2011. Vascular alien flora, Chile (Check List) 7:365-380.
  • Uphof, J. C. T. 1968. Dictionary of economic plants, ed. 2. (Dict Econ Pl) 167.
  • Villaseñor, J. L. & F. J. Espinoza-Garcia 2004. The alien flowering plants of Mexico Diversity & Distrib. 10:113-123.
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). (F ChinaEng)
  • Zuloaga, F. O. et al. 2003. Catalogue of New World grasses (Poaceae): III. Subfamilies Panicoideae, Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae, and Danthonioideae Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 46:167.


Check other web resources for Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf :

  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • Flora del Conosur: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Conosur
  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • CNWG: Catalogue of New World Grasses Searchable Database
  • World Grass Species-Descriptions: Morphological species description from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.