Botanical name: Cymbopogon martini Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Andropogon martini, Cymbopogon motia, Gymnanthelia martini
Palmarosa Grass is a perennial grass which smells sweet and rose-like. It arises from a short, stout, woody rootstock; culms up to 3 m high, the lower nodes often swollen. Leaf-blades are linear-lanceshaped or lanceshaped, up to 50 cm long, 10-30 mm wide, glaucous or powdery below, usually dark green above, heart-shaped at the base and often stem-clasping, tapering to a fillform tip. False panicles are linear-oblong, up to 30 cm long, erect; spatheoles narrowly elliptic to narrowly lanceshaped, 2-4 cm long, green, becoming orange or reddish at maturity. Flower-racemes are 1.5-2.0 cm long, the lowermost pedicle swollen and barrel-shaped; internodes and flower-stalks denseley fringed with hairs along the margins, sparsely hairy on the back. Sessile spikelets are elliptic-oblong or oblong, 4-4.5 mm long; lower glume flat on the back in the upper half and with a deep V-shaped groove in the lower, the keels winged above; upper lemma deeply bifid, with an awn 1.2-1.8 cm long. Palmarosa Grass is found in the Himalayas till 2000 m elevations, and in Peninsular India. Flowering: September-November.
Medicinal uses: In traditional medicine both the plant and its oils are used to treat rheumatism, hair loss, arthritis, lumbago and spasms. The essential oil is a strong fungicide.
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