1606 N 600 Rd, Baldwin City, 66006

West Indian lemon grass

Cymbopogon citratus

Aromatic grass from southern India. A tropical perennial grown as annual here, it has been known to winter over in a protected location. The bulbous base is used in Asian cuisine (particularly Vietnamese, Hmong, Khmer, Thai, Lao, Malaysian, Indonesian, Philippine, Sri Lankan) and Caribbean cooking. It has a citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten except for the soft inner part, but it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. The stalk may also be bruised and added whole to release aromatic oils.

Used as a mild depressant for the central nervous system, and has been shown to have antifungal properties.

A close relative of citronella, it is lovely in containers. Try a citrus herb combo with lemon grass, lemon balm and lime thyme!