Lemongrass and Citronella

Finally figured out the difference between repellant Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and edible Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) plants, both are from the Cymbopogon family commonly referred to as lemongrass. In Chinese, they are all called 香茅草。

I have both plants in my garden. The one that flowers now is Citronella, not Lemongrass. Here are some photos to show the difference between the two.

For further information in Chinese
http://www.zwbk.org/MyLemmaShow.aspx?zh=zh-tw&lid=163596

For further information in English http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon

Lemongrass

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Citronella

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Lemongrass

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Citronella

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Citronella flower

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7 Replies to “Lemongrass and Citronella”

        1. I am not sure if the colour of the root is the differentiating point. When both plants are young it is hard to tell except for the aroma. Citronella plant can grow to 2m tall while lemongrass at its tallest is no more than 1m tall. The major difference is in the aroma.

  1. Thank you! Now I know the difference between lemongrass and citronella 🙂
    Here in Indonesia we use lemongrass for almost all of Indonesian cuisine, but I don’t know about citronella. They look almost same. Is Citronella edible too? Thank you.

    1. Citronella is not edible. It is used to distill citronella oil. Lemongrass is the edible type used in Southeast Asian cooking.

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