This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek kumbo, a cup, and pogon, beard). Gramineae. Oil-producing grasses.
The genus resembles Andropogon, of which it is considered by some a subgenus, but differs in having some of the lower pairs of spikelets in each spike staminate. The spike-like racemes are borne in pairs at the ends of the short branches of the infloresence and are subtended by a somewhat inflated sheath. - About 40 species, mostly of the tropics of the Old World. Several species furnish essential oils and some are cult, for that purpose. They are known under the general name of oil grasses or lemon grasses. Some of the more important are: C. Schoenanthus, Spreng. Camel Hay. Fig. 1188. G.W. 14:399; C.Nardus, Rendle. Citronella Grass. Gn. 12:495; C. citratus, DC. Lemon Grass. Gn. 12:495. For a full account of these, see Kew Bull. Misc. Inf. No. 8, 1906. See also Vetiveria. A. S. Hitchcock.
Fig. 1188. Cymbopogon Schoenanthus. (X 1/3)