Cymbopogon spp.
Family: Poaceae
Project: Southwest Biodiversity Consortium
Plants usually perennial; cespitose. Culms 15-300 cm. Leaves aromatic, smelling of lemon oil or citronella; sheaths open, not strongly keeled except near the summit; ligules membranous; blades usually glabrous or mostly so, with long filiform apices. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, false panicles; peduncles often enclosed in the subtending leaf sheaths at maturity, with 2 rames; rames with 4-7 heterogamous spikelet pairs, axes slender, without a median groove, lower rame of each pair with 1 homogamous spikelet pair at the base, its pedicel swollen and more or less fused to the adjacent internodes, upper rames with short, sterile, flattened bases that are usually deflexed at maturity, without homogamous spikelet units. Heterogamous spikelet units: sessile spikelets dorsally compressed, with 2 florets; lower glumes chartaceous, concave or flat, 2-keeled, with or without intercostal veins, often streaked with oil glands; upper florets with a short, glabrous awn (rarely unawned); pedicels linear, free from the rame axes; pedicellate spikelets well-developed. x = 10. Name from the Greek kymbe, boat, and pogon, beard, referring to the boat-shaped leaf sheaths subtending the usually hairy rames (Clifford 1996).
Species
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