Cymbopogon flexuosus seeds, Indian Lemon Grass
Cymbopogon is a perennial tufted aromatic grass also known by other names such as East Indian lemon grass, Cochin grass, Malabar grass and fever grass. The plant synonyms include Flexusus, Cymbopogon travancorensis and Andropogon flexuous. The plant belongs to the genus of lemon grasses Cymbopogon and poaceae family. The indigenous form of this species can be traced back to Burma, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and South West China where it grows for many years before being distributed to other areas of the world.
Cymbopogon flexuous have a distinctive smell and can retain its green leaves throughout the year. They grow closely together forming perennial grass which is heavily branched. Its stems can grow up to a height of 2-3 meters that occur from short thick rhizomes. The plant has parallel-veined leaves, glaucous-green, alternating with a sheath to a stem having pubescence at the divergence point. The leaves are about 1m long with citrus odour when crushed. The flowers have floral parts unequal in size arranged in terminal panicles. Each flowering unit has two yellow-brown structure referred to as glumes. In most cases, the plant is seen in fields or gardens cultivated but can sometimes escape to human-disturbed habitats.
Cymbopogon flexuosus can be useful in various ways, for instance, crucial oils can be obtained from the plant which is highly aromatic resembling the lemon flavor and aroma. The food processing industries often use the aroma to flavor foods such as baked goods, ice creams, candies, oils and chewing gums. The plant’s leaves can also be dried to be used as an aromatic herb tea. The plant can also be useful to farming planting other crops since it can use the lemongrass plants to divide the garden. It can also help to contain more invasions of crops such as sweet potato.