lemongrass(redirected from Cymbopogon)
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(Cymbopogon citratus), a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Gramineae. The stems are multiple and fruticose, forming thick, strong turf. The leaves, which are linear and stiff, are pale green with a reddish tint. The inflorescence is paniculate and loose, with a few spikes. The spikelets are dichromatic. Lemongrass is cultivated in the tropics and subtropics for its essential oil. It does not appear to grow wild. In the USSR it is grown on the shores of the Black Sea. Fresh lemongrass yields an essential oil, with the fragrance of lemon (hence the name of the plant). The oil contains citral, geraniol, and other substances. It is used by the perfume and food industries; the oil also serves as a repellent against mosquitoes, tsetse flies, and other insects.