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EAST INDIAN LEMONGRASS GROWING INFORMATION Frances Michaels
BOTANICAL NAME:Cymbopogon flexuosus
COMMON NAMES: Lemongrass; Malabar Grass; Cochin Grass
FAMILY: Poaceae previously Graminae
ORIGIN: Indian

PLANT DESCRIPTION
Less commonly grown than West Indian Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus; it is a taller, to 1.5m, more vigorous plant with deep purple stem bases, resistant to the rust that plagues West Indian Lemongrass. It produces an attractive purplish seedhead in most areas. Lemongrass is adapted to hot wet summers and dry warm winters, is drought tolerant and will grow on a wide range of soils but prefers rich, moist loams. It dislikes wet feet. If it is damaged by frost in cooler areas, the tops should not be cut until all danger of frost has passed. This helps to protect the centre of the plant from further cold damage. Suitable for warm temperate to tropical areas.

USES
Food: a good source of vitamin A, the leaves are the commercial source for herb tea.
Mulch: it can be cut continuously for mulch during the warmer months. As an added advantage it will have some pest repellent properties.
Erosion control: it can be planted on the contour on steep banks to control erosion.
Edging: useful also as a barrier to running grasses around vegetable gardens.

PLANTING DETAILS
It is usually propagated by division.
Recommended planting time: plant spring in cooler areas; in tropical areas plant during the wet season.
Plant spacing: plant rhizomes at a spacing of 1 m, with .5 m between rows.

HARVEST
Harvesting for oil distillation begins when the clumps are 4-8 months old, it is subsequently harvested every 3-4 months, and this continues for about 4 years. The fresh grass yields 0.2-0.4% oil, giving 40-112 kg of oil/ha/yr.

Not to NORFOLK ISLAND, NT, SA, TAS or WA
SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered by residents of Norfolk Island, Tasmania and Western Australia. These restrictions are very important as they prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock can be sent to South Australia. No tubestock can be sent to Northern Territory.
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