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Cymbopogon citratus Citronella Poaceae
This valuable grass, believed to have originated in India, forms a dense clump of long, gray-green leaves reaching as much 6 ft (1.8 m) high, though mostly smaller.
It is rarely known to flower in cultivation, much less produce seed.
The crushed or bruised leaves have a strong lemon fragrance but are very tough and inedible; it is the fleshy white bases of the shoots that are used in Southeast Asian cooking, collected and used fresh.
The leaves can be used fresh or dried to make a herbal tea.
Cultivation: Their main requirement is a climate with a long summer growing season, and a well-drained, light-textured but fertile soil.
Propagate from seed or by division of clumps.

Country of origin: India
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Parts Used: Leafs
The harvested grass is wilted in shade for a short time and steam distilled within 24 hours. The oil yield varies with the season, soil fertility and distillation efficiency. On an average, oil recovery is 0.8 1.2% and the oil yield is 100 kg/ha during the first year and 150 kg/ha during subsequent years. Yields of 200 250 kg/ha/yr can be obtained under favorable conditions with good management.
Chemical constituents: Java citronella oil contain mainly citronellal 32 45%, geraniol 12 18% and citronellol 11-15%.
Citronella oil serves as a starting material for the extraction of geraniol and citronellal which can be converted into aroma chemicals such as citronellol, hydroxy citronellol, synthetic menthol and esters of geraniol. These find extensive use in soap, perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring industries.