from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tropical Asian grass (Cymbopogon nardus) that has bluish-green, lemon-scented leaves and yields an essential oil.
  • noun A pale yellow to brownish aromatic oil obtained from this plant, used chiefly in perfumery and also in some insect repellents and commercial flavorings.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fragrant grass, Andropogon Nardus, extensively cultivated in Ceylon and Singapore for an oil (citronella-oil) which is obtained from it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A tropical Asian grass, Cymbopogon nardus, that has lemon-scented leaves
  • noun An essential oil obtained from this plant


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin, from French citronnelle, lemon oil, diminutive of citron, citron; see citron.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French citronnelle.


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  • Citronella oil is one of the essential oils obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon. The oil is used extensively as a source of perfumery chemicals such as citronellal, citronellol and geraniol. These chemicals find extensive use in soap, perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring industries throughout the world.

    Citronella oil is also a renowned plant-based insect repellent, and has been registered for this use in the United States since 1948. The EPA considers oil of citronella as a biopesticide with a non-toxic mode of action. Research also shows that citronella oil has strong antifungal properties,and effective in calming barking dogs.


    March 12, 2008