Description from Flora of China
Perennial from a shallowly rooted rhizome. Culms tufted, robust, up to 2 m or more tall. Leaf sheaths glabrous, reddish inside; leaf blades relatively thin, drooping for 2/3 of their length, 40–80(–100) × 1–1.5(–2.5) cm, abaxial surface glaucous, adaxial surface light green, margins scabrid, base narrow, apex long acuminate; ligule 2–3 mm. Spathate compound panicle large, lax, up to 50 cm, much branched, main axis zig-zag, finally nodding; spatheoles reddish brown, 1.2–2.5 cm; racemes 1.5–2.5 cm; rachis internodes and pedicels softly ciliate on margins; pedicel of homogamous pair not swollen. Sessile spikelet elliptic-lanceolate, 4–5 × ca. 1 mm; lower glume flat or slightly concave, sharply 2-keeled, keels narrowly winged, 3-veined between keels; upper lemma very shortly 2-lobed, awn short or absent, not exserted from spikelet. Pedicelled spikelet 3.5–5 mm. 2n = 20, 40.
This species, known only from cultivation, produces citronella oil of a higher quality than that from Cymbopogon nardus.
Commonly cultivated. Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan [origin unknown; cultivated mainly in Indonesia].