Cymbopogon citratus

Plant of the month: January

Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass / Citronella grass)

Also known as: Lemongrass / Citronella grass
Native to: Indochina, Malaysia and Sri Lanka
Blooms: Green flowers with a reddish tinge, in nodding clusters to 2 metres high during Summer. (Only in warm climates)
Habitat: Tropical grasslands
Where is it found at BBG: Subtropical House

This tropical, evergreen, clump-forming grass has attractive bluish-green leaves. Its culms (stems) have been used in cooking and medicine for centuries.

The leaves can also be brewed to make a tea and aromatic oils in the leaves are used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

It is also used as repellent against mosquitos and other insects, known as citronella. It likes a warm, sunny position in a well-drained soil and will not survive big freezes. Propagation is usually by division in the spring.