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Cymbopogon nardus


Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle

Family Name: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Common Name: Citronella Grass, Ceylon Citronella


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Grass & Grass-like Plant (Tall Grass (Poaceae))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Grassy
Maximum Height 1.5 m to 2.5 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1 m to 1.5 m


Native Distribution South Sudan to South Africa, India to Vietnam
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial grass forms clumps up to 2.5 m tall.
Stems The pseudostem (the base of the leaf blade) is reddish.
Similar Citronella (scientific name: Cymbopogon nardus) looks like Lemongrass (scientific name: Cymbopogon citratus) but it has a wider leaf blade and the base of the stem (technically known as a pseudostem) is reddish, while Lemongrass has a green one.
Cultivation It grows best in bright, but filtered light and leaves may be burned by intense sun.
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: Essential oil extracted from the leaves is used as a mosquito repellent.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate

Image Repository



Master ID 29582
Species ID 3891
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 05 August 2022.