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POACEAE Cymbopogon

Species listing:  
Cymbopogon [genus]  
(1,457)

C. caesius  
(1,739)
Synonyms: Cymbopogon giganteus
Chiov.

C. citratus  
(11,469)
Synonyms: Andropogon citratus DC

C. coloratus  
(343)

C. densiflorus  
(331)

C. flexuosus  
(599)

C. jwarancusa  
(250)

C. marginatus  
(426)
Synonyms: Andropogon marginatus
Steud.

C. martini  
(4,012)
Synonyms: Andropogon calamus .

C. nardus  
(6,027)
Synonyms: Andropogon nardus L.,
Cymbopogon validus (Stapf) Davy

C. refractus  
(554)
Synonyms: Andropogon refractus
R.Br.

C. schoenanthus  
(4,383)
Synonyms: Cymbopogon proximus
Stapf

C. sp.  
(473)

C. winterianus  
(413)


POACEAE Cymbopogon

 

Cymbopogon [genus] K.Spreng. POACEAE

Common names: Oil Grass (Hortus)

Old World tropics; 30 spp. Per. grasses, mostly aromatic. Rel. to Andropogon but pairs of racemes incl. in an inflated spathe and the spathes in a large compound infl.; the well-developed sessile & pedicelled spikelets of the lower pair are alike but male or neuter. Several spp. grown in the tropics for essential oil distilled from the lvs. and used in perfumery, flavoring and medicine. Prop. by division (Hortus Third 1976: 354). Old World trop., warm temp.; 65 spp. (Griffiths 1994: 336). 56 spp. (Mabberley 1998: 206) Grown for the oil from herbage and roots [grasses with aromatic roots are prob. in Vetiveria, which also was formerly in Andropogon]. Sometimes also for ornament (Bailey & Bailey 1941: 229). Formerly thought to be in Andropogon, but quite distinct in structure. Oils contain various aromatic cpds., differ considerably in scent. Best kind contains geraniol, an alcohol that smells like roses. Oils soluble in 70% alcohol are far superior for perfumes than oils which do not dissolve (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 734). Andropogon: This & other aromatic plants used as mosquito repellents. Preventing biting also prevents disease (Tunón, Thorsell & Bohlin 1994: 111).




POACEAE Cymbopogon caesius

 

Cymbopogon caesius subsp. giganteus POACEAE

Synonyms: Cymbopogon giganteus Chiov.

Common names: Tsauri Grass (Dalziel)

Range not given. C. giganteus: In the savanna of Africa, the infl. is the most fragrant part, rich in essential oil. Used as a flavoring in food. Commonly used for zana mats, fencing, etc. Occasionally for thatch, beds. Mat-screens are called asabari in Hausa. Pithy stems for arrow shafts used by boys. Malams use them for pens. Lvs. of young shoots before the culms form are good fodder. Infusion of lvs. etc. given as a febrifuge. Relieve headache by smoke from the burned plant. Pounded lvs. applied as a poultice to the throat to relieve pain. Sick horses treated by fumigating with the roots. Dried infl. sold in markets, a remedy in great repute for fevers, mixed with lime juice, etc., as a bath. One of many remedies included in a popular prescription for coughs. In Dakar & Saint Louis it has been freely used in epidemics as a special remedy and preventive of Yellow Fever (Dalziel 1948: 524). C. giganteus: A tall coarse grass in the low coastal lands of Gambia, whose large lvs. had a peculiar fragrance. It seemed to me, but not to the others, to have as pleasant a fragrance as that of lemon grass (Fairchild 1930). Valid taxon & synonym (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon citratus

 

Cymbopogon citratus (DC ex Nees) Stapf POACEAE

Synonyms: Andropogon citratus DC

Common names: Lemongrass, West Indian Lemongrass, Fever Grass (Hortus) Lemon Grass, Citronella Grass, Serai, Sereh betul (Burkill)

S India, Ceylon. Form dense clumps to 6 ft. high. Lvs. to 3 ft. long, 0.5" wide, tapered to both ends, margins scabrous. Panicle large, usually v. compound, loose, branches slender, the ultimate ones somewhat nodding, joints of the racemes bearded or villous along the sides, spathe bracts long & narrow. Widely cult. in the tropics. A cultigen which rarely fls. Has been cult. in FL for the aromatic lemongrass oil (Hortus Third 1976: 354). Stapf 1906 could not trace it to any particular wild sp. Information in India suggests it came from Malaysia, and it has certainly been grown there for a v. long time. Sereh betul means ‘true sereh’. Apparently orig. used to flavor food. Rumpf says it was used with fish, in sauces, and with other substs. to spice liquors. Says it is also medicinal: wholesome to digestion, acts as a mild diuretic, promotes perspiration, acts as emmenagogue; was used in the bath and for fomentations. Portuguese adopted it when they first came out, took it to Madras about 1666, later spread through the tropics. Entered in many pharmacopoeias. The more or less bleached bases of the lvs. and the stem to which they are attached are added to food, uncooked, as a seasoning. The rest of the lvs. and the leaf-sheaths cooked with foods for flavoring. Commonly put in curries. Java, the plant enters into a highly spiced sherbet which is much drunk. Medicine, used in Malaya in a potion after childbirth. Much used in tonics and for kidney trouble. A diuretic, but as a tonic has no value. Singapore universal tonic is a jamu; it must have a magical formula repeated over it before use: magic, not medicine. Planted in the corner of a rice-field to protect the crop; Besisi plant it round the edges of graves. Besisi use ornaments made of it at weddings. Chinese herbalists stock it. The citral in Lemon-grass oil from this & C. nardus can be converted into ionine, artificial essence of violets, now much used. Grown in hothouses in Eu. Those who regarded tea as not suiting their digestion would sometimes drink a lemon-grass tea. As its allies were known to yield a volatile oil on distillation, it was also distilled, first in Singapore 1886. Since cult. was easy, many plantations were started. After the first enthusiasm, prices fell, went out of the public mind until an incr. demand in Eu. about 1898 recalled it, due to the development of chem. processes for altering the nature of the oil. Again over-prod. drove prices down. Oil contains citral, isolated 1888. Also citronellal, other aldehydes. A sample in 1904 had 55% citronellal and 33% geraniol. Soluble in an equal volume of 80% alcohol, required of a good oil. After distilling, the lvs. are worthless, not even suitable for paper-making (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 735). Andropogon c.: The essential oil of lemon-grass has sp. gr. 0.8932 (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Oil: Essential Oils) In Nagaland, NE India, mostly cult. near houses to repel snakes. Lvs. boiled in water by Aos, used as bath for severe fever, headache (Rao 1981: 179). In W Africa known only cult., in embankments to check erosion, or as a decorative grass in borders, gardens. Fragrant lvs.chew sticks like Ocimum [Labiatae], or by fumigation from a hot bath. Roots used like (e), or rubbed on the teeth to clean them. Has been suggested to plant it as a local deterrent to tsetse fly. Lvs. used to stuff pillows, mattresses, etc. . In Gabon used as mosquito fumigant (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57). Andropogon schoenanthus: Cult. for the fine fragrance of the lvs., used to flavor custards. Fresh young lvs. used as a subst. for tea. The white center of the succulent leaf-culms used to flavor curries. Her Royal Majesty drank tea supplied from the Royal Gardens at Kew (Sturtevant 1972 [1919]: 50). Grown in Brazil, brought from the W Indies. This & C. flexuosus are tall grasses, to 2 m. In their homelands they prod. compact [?] flower heads, in Brazil do not bloom. Prop. by rhizomes. RR tracks and country roads often lined with them. If the lvs. are rubbed lightly they release a pronounced lemon scent. The volatile oil consists mainly of citral. Oil known in comm. as Lemongrass oil, much exported from Asia. Lvs. steam-distilled, give 0.5-1.0% oil, depending on var., soil, climate. Much used by perfume and toilet-soap manuf. (Mors & Rizzini 1966). Lemongrass is an ingredient in a broth for arthritis (Duke 1997:60) Scientists have demonstrated that lemongrass oil is effective against several common fungi. For athletes, enjoy drinking lemongrass tea one to four times a day. Then put the spent tea-bag on the affected area (Duke 1997:70) Also for fungus infections of any kind (Duke 1997:204). Fenugreek [Trigonella, Leguminosae] is rich in phytoestrogens, and may help if you want a larger breast size. Boil fenugreek seeds or sprouts with lemongrass and other herbs. (Duke 1997:88) Make a tea with fenugreek and other herbs to increase your milk supply. The other ingredients may just improve the flavor of the fenugreek or they may contain active agents (Duke 1997:91). Many people take lemongrass or other herbal teas for hangovers. The herbs may help, or the water alone acts against dehydration (Duke 1997:231) Many herbs, including lemongrass, are taken as teas to relieve headache (Duke 1997:237). For indigestion, any of hundreds of herb teas can help; one is lemongrass. Or take a few whiffs of lemongrass oil, but don’t drink it; even a small amount of an essential oil can be fatal (Duke 1997:277). If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you should be under a doctor’s care. However if you massage with lemongrass or other oils, a few drops in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, they may help you relax (Duke 1997:282). Lemongrass contains insect-repellent compounds like those of citronella. Simply crush the fresh herb and rub it on your skin (Duke 1997:293). Women in Acre, Brazil make a herbal tea from the leaves. Used mostly as a beverage, some use it for medicine (Kainer & Duryea 1992). Origin unknown. Per. with aromatic rhizome [? lvs.], grows in tufts. Lvs. erect but drooping at the tips, lemon-scented, flat. Flower stalk rare: stalk to 60 cm high, panicles to 50 cm long. Cult. in home gardens and partly nat. in W Indies, trop. & subtrop. Am. Grown commercially in Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Old World tropics. Leaf infusion widely drunk as a stomachic and as a sudorific to lower fever. Intro. in Jamaica 1800, used as a home remedy; still commonly drunk to relieve colds, fever. Curaçao, decoction a v. popular remedy, taken whenever one is feeling out of sorts. Often given to infants. Surinam, drunk as sudorific in fever, for urinary troubles. Curaçao, Colombia, etc., rhizome said to have a ginger-lilac flavor, chewed until frayed at one end, used as a toothbrush. Costa Rica, Indians take an infusion of roots & lvs. to overcome colds. Barbados, the whole plant with roots and the dirt around the roots is boiled, decoction strained, given to babies as a diuretic, to adults to relieve stomach and bowel pains. Also used as an abortfacient. Lvs. boiled with Andropogon pertussus [now Bothriochloa pertusa, Poaceae] and the decoction taken for fevers. Essential oil used commercially to flavor soft drinksscent tobacco (e) . Lvs. delightfully lemon-scented. In the home kitchen, leaf bases & stems used raw to season food, and to flavor wines, liquors, soft drinks. Leaf blade to flavor fish, soups, curries, pickles, sauces. Leaf infusion drunk hot or cold as a pleasant tea (Morton 1976: 11). In Trinidad, grass & rhizome teas for colds, flu, fever, pneumonia, malarial fever. In lochs for cough, consumption. Rhizome infusion is mouthwash for pyrorrhea. Grass yields volatile oil with anti-spasmodic, pectoral, antiseptic effects. Cyanogenetic glycoside present, alkaloid in rhizome (Wong 1976: 109). Prob. native to India, now grown in the Far East and from Paraguay to FL. Several thousand tons of oil a year from India, E Indies. Separate rhizomes, plant by hand. By the 2nd year the plantings are established, make 3 cuttings a year. After a few years, yield goes down, replant in fresh ground. Usually harvest by machete or bush knife, in some places use machinery. Distill right after harvest, in wood-fired stills or in precisely controlled machinery. Oil an immiscible layer above the water. Consists chiefly of citral, much used in flavorings, as a source of ionone, the base for synthetic violet perfumes of comm., and for Vitamin A synthesis. Mainly for perfume, soaps, cosmetics, mosquito repellents (Schery 1972: 270). Tzeltal grow this grass in Chis., in many parts of Tenejapa. Strongly lemon-scented herbage. Regularly sold in markets. Drunk as a tea by Tenejapans who have had contact with Spaniards. Boil lvs. & fleshy bulbs [? base of lvs.] in water, invariably drink it with brown sugar (Berlin, Breedlove & Raven 1974: 490). Andropogon c.: Cult. in Mexico for its use in a tea infusion. Helps perspiration in fevers (Santamaría 1978: Zacatelimon). On the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, leaf for belly pain, colds, cough, fever, ‘pressure’ in blood or chest (Barrett 1994). Valid species & synonym (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon coloratus

 

Cymbopogon coloratus (Hook.f.) Stapf POACEAE

Common names: Lemon Grass (Parham)

Range not given. Intro. early in Fiji, mod. common and widespread. 1907: assumed it was C. citratus, expts. begun on the oil. Not commercial (Parham 1972). Valid species (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon densiflorus

 

Cymbopogon densiflorus . POACEAE

Range not given. In Tanganyika, E Africa, the fls. are smoked alone or with tobacco by witch doctors. The dreams they cause are said to foretell the future (von Reis & Lipp 1982: 10). Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon flexuosus

 

Cymbopogon flexuosus (Nees ex Steudel) J.F.Watson POACEAE

Common names: East Indian Lemongrass (Morton: Herbs) Malabar Oil (Mabberley)

Native & cult. in India. Yields lemongrass oil, used by food manuf. in beverages, ice cream, candy, baked goods, gelatin desserts, chewing gum. Also valued in cosmetics, pharmaceutical prods. (Morton 1976: 11) In Brazil grown like C. citratus; yields citral (Mors & Rizzini 1966). Valid species (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon jwarancusa

 

Cymbopogon jwarancusa (Jones) Schultes POACEAE

Range not given. In India a good crop in summer for grazing cattle (von Reis & Lipp 1982: 10). Valid species (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon marginatus

 

Cymbopogon marginatus (Steud.) Stapf POACEAE

Synonyms: Andropogon marginatus Steud.

Range not given. In S Africa root as moth repellent in cloth (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57). Andropogon m.: In stored grain as a rodent repellent (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57). Species & synonym not in GRIN. (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon martini

 

Cymbopogon martini (Roxb.) J.F.Watson POACEAE

Synonyms: Andropogon calamus .

Common names: Palmarosa (Burkill) Rosha Grass, Geranium Grass (Morton: Herbs) Rosha, Rusha (Mabberley) Indian Geranium (OED) Ginger Grass (Schery)

Cent. & N India. Two physiol. vars. with unlike scent. The geraniol in palmarosa oil makes it valuable as a subst. for oil of roses (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 736). Source of palmarosa oil, used mainly for perfumery (Morton 1976: 11). Palmarosa oil is much used in blends because it is so cheap (Schery 1972: 272). Another grass imported into Brazil, grown for the perfume industry. Oil from lvs., stalks and seeds contains a good prop'n of geraniol with a pronounced scent of roses (Mors & Rizzini 1966). Geranium oil used to flavor tobacco (Mabberley 1998: 206) For minor burns, apply geranium oil or other essential oils. Do not take these oils by mouth, as even a small amount may be toxic (Duke 1997:105). For genital herpes and cold sores, apply this or other essential oils at the first sign of an outbreak. Do not take internally, as even a little may be fatal (Duke 1997:213) If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you should be under a doctor’s care. However if you massage with geranium or other oils, a few drops in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, they may help you relax (Duke 1997:282). If you develop shingles, you should see your doctor for treatment. In addition, try applying an essential oil, such as geranium oil, diluted in vegetable oil, to the painful areas (Duke 1997:388). Andropogon m.: In Brazil 1925, entire plant has a strong aromatic peppery taste. Escaped from cult. A tea of the entire plant is given for colds (von Reis & Lipp 1982: 9) Andropogon: Indian Geranium yields a fragrant oil used in perfumery (Oxford English Dictionary. 1971: Indian Geranium). Andropogon calamus aromaticus: The Roosa grass of India has been suggested as the incense of the Old Testament. Kaneh hattab, Jer. vi 20, Isa. xliii 24; keneh is calamus (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Incense of the Old Testament). Grass is cut in Sept., sold to distillers who set up their stills by the side of streams. The attar resulting is packed in skins and transported to the markets of Bombay and Cairo where it is called oil of geranium. (Perfume) Valid species; synonym not in GRIN (GRIN 2006)

Cymbopogon martini var. motia

Common names: Palmarosa Oil (Burkill) Motiya (Perfume)

Palmarosa oil from this var. is distilled and sent to Eu. Grew fairly well in the Java hills. The oil yield was 0.6%, of which 80-90% was geraniol. In India gave an oil with 91% geraniol; it dissolved in 1.5 volumes of 70% alcohol. Palmarosa oil is used to adulterate otto of roses (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 736). Oil distillers call it motiya when the infl. is young and pale blue. (Perfume) Taxon name not in GRIN (GRIN 2006).

Cymbopogon martini var. sofia

Common names: Ginger-Grass Oil (Burkill) Sonfiya (Perfume)

Ginger-grass oil is not as pleasantly scented as palmarosa oil, little demand for it. Does contain geraniol, but not commerially possible to release it from assoc. substs. In Java grew better than var. motia, being from a more moist habitat. Distillation gave 0.1-0.2% oil. Contains only 43% geraniol with dihydrocumin and i-carvone (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 736). Oil distillers call it sonfiya when it has ripened and turned crimson-red. [??] (Perfume) Taxon name not in GRIN (GRIN 2006).




POACEAE Cymbopogon nardus

 

Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle POACEAE

Synonyms: Andropogon nardus L., Cymbopogon validus (Stapf) Davy

Common names: Citronella Grass, Nard Grass (Hortus) Citronella, Mana Grass (Griffiths) Sereh wangi, Winter's Grass, Lenabatu (Burkill) Lemon Grass (Americana)

Ceylon. Like C. citratus but panicle much congested, often interrupted, finally drooping. Widely cult. in tropics, also in S FL, S CA. Source of commercial citronella oil (Hortus Third 1976: 354). Trop. Asia. Lemon-scented per. to 2 m, stem robust, erect, smooth. Lvs. to 90 cm long 1.8 cm wide (Griffiths 1994: 336). A cultigen, orig. from C. confertiflorus, which grows wild on mts. of S India & Ceylon. Dutch found it in Ceylon. About 1675 a volatile oil was distilled near Colombo, used medicinally, recorded by Dutch physicians. Given in small doses it comforts the stomach, aids digestion. Also an emmenagogue. An infusion or decoction as an alterative; also a hot bath. First planted in the Botanic Gardens, Buitenzorg 1891, prob. somewhat earlier in Java & in Malaya. Oil sent to London from Singapore 1886. Used in many parts of Malaya to prevent soil erosion. Oil sometimes distilled locally. Name means ‘fragrant sereh’. 2 races in Ceylon: Winter's Grass or Old Citronella, and a hybrid of this with a wild Cymbopogon. The hybrid called lenabatu is preferred because it is longer-lived, but its oil is deficient in citronellal. Amt. of oil is greatest in young foliage, and the oil which first comes over in distilling is the richest in citronellal and geraniol. Thus results of diff. expts. are often not comparable. Java, considerable distilling; oil has a finer scent than that made in Ceylon. Dissolves in 1 or 2 volumes of 80% alcohol, contains 27-45% geraniol, 25-54% citronellal. The citronellal-with-geraniol content of the oil is 90%. Grass is inferior for paper-making. The Malays use C. citratus, sereh, for internal medicine, but C. nardus, sereh wangi, is used externally. Decoction of lvs. with other plants used as a wash after childbirth (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 737). In India lvs. as mosquito repellent. Active agent, camphene [camphene is not mentioned by other sources for this plant] (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57). C. validus: In S Africa an important thatching grass (Mabberley 1998: 206)From Java intro. in Brazil. Oil contains 60% geraniol, 10% citronellal (Mors & Rizzini 1966). Citronella is one of the famous grass oils, obtained by distilling lvs. of this sp. Grown chiefly in Java, some in New World tropics & subtropics. Oil widely used in cheap perfumes and to make menthol (Schery 1972: 271). Cult. in Singapore & Ceylon. Citronella oil used for scenting soaps, perfumes, applied externally to ward off mosquitoes. With A. schoenanthus & A. citratus, a source of lemon grass oil [?]. Abundant growth both wild & cult. No value for grazing except when v. young (Encyclopedia Americana. 1954: Citronella Oil). Citronella is a pale yellow oil, distilled from a grass grown chiefly in Java, Ceylon. Now several thousand acres planted in Guatemala, Honduras. Used to make perfumes, as a perfume in soaps, for making menthol. It had wide usage as a mosquito repellent until more effective synthetic substs. replaced it. US imports several tons of citronella a year (World Book Encyclopedia. 1965: Citronella). Andropogon n.: Citronella has sp. gr. 0.89, lighter than olive. Used for perfume (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Oil, Essential Oils). Citronella oil is the active ingredient in several commercial insect repellents that don’t contain DEET, and is also made into candles burned to drive off mosquitoes. DEET is a poison which passes through the skin into the bloodstream, and also dissolves plastics, including sun-glasses. Citronella oil is irritating to the skin, so if you want to apply the pure oil add several drops to a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Note that its protection wears off in about an hour. Citronella oil also can protect plants against aphids (Duke 1997:291). Cult. in Yuc. Seldom or never fls. in Cent. Am. A tea made from the lvs. is used for colic (Standley 1930: 201). The essential oil distilled from fresh plant, translucent green, flavor piquant and odor like that of lemon. Essence considered to be stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic. Applied externally as a rubefacient. Valuable in flatulent and spasmodic affections of the intestines, and gastric irritability. In ‘cólera’ it helps prevent vomiting, also prevents the fever following the chill [? malaria]. Applied externally for rheumatism, neuralgia, other painful affections. Dose is 3-6 drops in sugar or in emulsion. Externally it should be diluted in twice its volume of fatty oil or liniment soap (Martínez 1959: Medicinales, page 301). Andropogon n.: V. aromatic per. grass. Perfume extracted at one time was much used in powder or liquid form. Women put it on their clothing or in little sachets. Today used only by poor people. [Patchouli is from Pogostemon, Labiatae, not from this genus; Cymbopogon was not used in sachets.] (Santamaría 1978: Pachuli). Valid species & synonyms (GRIN 2006).




POACEAE Cymbopogon refractus

 

Cymbopogon refractus (R.Br.) A. Camus POACEAE

Synonyms: Andropogon refractus R.Br.

Common names: Barbed Wire Grass (Parham) Kangaroo Grass (Britannica)

Range not given. Mod. common in Fiji on open dry hillsides. Confused with C. nardus, often incorrectly called Citronella grass (Parham 1972). Andropogon r.: Australia. Another Kangaroo Grass is Themeda australis (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Queensland). Valid species & synonym (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon schoenanthus

 

Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) Spreng. POACEAE

Common names: Camel-Hay (Bailey) Canal Grass (Mabberley) Lemon-Grass Oil (Americana) Camel's Hay, Camel's Meat, Sweet Rush, Squinance (OED) Camel Grass (Dalziel) Sweet Cane, Calamus (Walker) Spikenard Oil, Grass-Oil of Nemaur (from Doris)

N Africa to N India. Per. to 30 cm. Stem erect, glabrous. Lvs. to 25 cm, flexuous, filiform, semi-terete, rough-edged, glaucous (Griffiths 1994: 336). Differs from C. nardus in the joints of the raceme hairy and concealing the spikelets (Bailey & Bailey 1941: 229). Oil medicinal. In the Middle East, an adulterant of Otto of Roses (Mabberley 1998: 206) Morocco to the Punjab, found in ancient Egyptian tombs. A fragrant grass. Erroneous reports that it grows in Malaya, but this is a grass of dry regions (Burkill 1966: Vol. 1 page 738). In the cent. Sahara, nomadic tribes use the plant to cover their huts. Roots & lvs. yield by distillation fragrant camel-grass oil. Internal part of the rhizome is said to be eaten as an aphrodisiac. Infusion of the infl. as a febrifuge (Dalziel 1948: 524). S Asia, abundant growth, no value for grazing except when v. young. Yields lemon-grass oil of commerce [???], often passed as verbena oil (Encyclopedia Americana. 1954: Lemon Grass). Camel's Hay is a sweet-scented grass or rush growing in the East. [May be this sp.] 1597, Gerard Herbal: Camels haie hath leaues very like unto Cyperus. 1598, Florio: Squinance, squinath, cammels meate or sweet rush, which is very medicinable (Oxford English Dictionary. 1971: Camel’s Hay). The precious spikenard oil of Scripture is supposed to have been obtained from a Cymbopogon. The kind known as Grass-oil of Nemaur is prod. at the foot of the Vindhya Hills and exported from Bombay. In 1900 Ceylon exported ten tons of grass-oil a year. (from Doris) Dioscorides called it flowering rush [?]. In Exodus, sweet calamus, used to make the holy anointing oil with which Aaron and his sons were consecrated [? may be Acorus, Araceae]. It is said that Alexander the Great was riding his elephant near the border of Egypt, when he became exhilarated by the sudden smell of spikenard. Lemon Grass [?] abounds in the area, and releases such a perfume when trampled. (Perfume) [It’s difficult to guess which species might be meant by these older references; they are all put here for convenience.]. Valid species (GRIN 2006)

Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus (A.Rich.) Maire & Weiller

Synonyms: Cymbopogon proximus Stapf

C. proximus: Range not given. In the Sahara and savanna, a narrow-leaved scented per. grass. Young shoots a good fodder in drier regions. Used for zana matting and for thatching. Also chopped up, mixed with clay, used to build huts. In Gold Coast N Terr. & Togo, a decoction of the grass used for snake-bite. Nigeria, smoke from burned nobe is said to relieve manaical symptoms. Yields an oil chem. distinct from that of other Cymbopogons (Dalziel 1948: 524). Valid taxon & synonym (GRIN 2006)

Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. schoenanthus

Synonyms: Andropogon schoenanthus L.

Andropogon s: Indian geranium oil, sp. gr. 0.90, lighter than olive oil. Used for medicine, perfume. Contains camphor isomeric with Borneo camphor [Dryobalanops, Dipterocarpaceae], C10 H18 O1; not the same as common camphor [Cinnamomum, Lauraceae] (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Oil, Essential Oils). Andropogon s.: In the Philippines A. schoenanthus is used as moth repellent in cloth. [prob. A. nardus?] (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57).Andropogon s.: Sweet rush or lemon grass yields an essential oil (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Rush) Andropogon s.: Pliny xiii 2 gives the ingredients of the genuine Spikenard or Nard ointment; includes this juncus (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893: Spikenard) Valid taxon & synonym (GRIN 2006)




POACEAE Cymbopogon sp.

 

Cymbopogon sp. . POACEAE

A medicinal plant gathered in the State of Mexico for sale in markets. It grows in the Balsas Depression (Hersch-Martínez 1997). Tepehuan crush the stems of this lowland grass on a metate, add to a small amt. of water, boil a few minutes. Makes a stimulating drink (Pennington 1969). Drunk as a beverage in Juarez, Chih. (Ford 1975).




POACEAE Cymbopogon winterianus

 

Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt POACEAE

Cultigen. Cult. in India for cheap scent (Mabberley 1998: 206) Has not been intro. in Brazil. Oil is 40% geraniol, 40% citronellal (Mors & Rizzini 1966). In India lvs. as mosquito repellent (Secoy & Smith 1983: 57). Valid species (GRIN 2006)



Bibliography:

Bailey, L. and E. Z. Bailey. 1941. Hortus Second. Macmillan, New York NY.

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