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Genus Cymbopogon Family Poaceae

Description: Tufted perennials, aromatic when crushed. Ligule membranous.

Inflorescence of paired racemes usually arranged in a panicle, subtended by an often reddish spathe; rachis disarticulating at maturity so that spikelets fall in pairs with a rachis joint, rachis often hairy.

Spikelets paired, dissimilar, 1 sessile, the other pedicellate, spikelets of lowermost pairs usually both male. Sessile spikelets with 1 fertile floret above a sterile floret, usually awned, callus shortly bearded, obtuse. Glumes equal or subequal, lower strongly 2-keeled, the upper keeled towards the apex. Lemmas 2, ciliate, hyaline, the lower entire, 2-nerved, the upper 2-fid, small and narrow with a small bristle or awn to 12 mm long between the lobes. Palea absent. Pedicellate spikelet sterile, with 2 rounded glumes enclosing 1 lemma and occasionally a male flower.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 55 species, tropical regions. Australia: 10 species (9 species native, 1 species naturalized), all mainland States.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & C. A. Wall
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Racemes only slightly hairy (often appearing glabrous), sharply reflexed and divergent at maturity, panicle narrow; lemmas usually awnlessCymbopogon refractus
Racemes distinctly hairy, more or less reflexed, usually divergent at maturity; sessile spikelets awned2
2Awns 6–8 mm long, not conspicuous among dense hairs on the racemes which are reflexed and divergent at maturityCymbopogon obtectus
Awns 12–15 mm long and prominent among hairs on the racemes which are erect or slightly divergent at maturity
                       Back to 1
Cymbopogon ambiguus

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