Cymbopogon pachnodes (Trin.) Wats.
Tufted perennial arising from a short, stout, woody rootstock; culms up to 3 m high, the lower nodes often swollen. Leaf-blades linear-lanceolate or lanceolate, up to 50 cm long, 10-30 mm wide, glaucous or pruinose below, usually dark green above, cordate at the base and often amplexicaul, tapering to a fillform tip, False panicle linear-oblong, up to 30 cm long, erect; spatheoles narrowly elliptic to narrowly lanceolate, 2-4 cm long, green, becoming orange or reddish at maturity. Racemes 15-20 mm long, the lowermost pedicle swollen and barrel-shaped; internodes and pedicels denseley ciliate along the margins, sparsely pilose on the back. Sessile spikelet 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 12-18 mm long. Chromosome number, 2n = 20,40.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: September-November.
Type: India, Martin (K).
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); India; cultivated in the tropics.
Two kinds of oil can be obtained from Cymbopogon martinii; Palmerosa oil from the variety known as “Motia” and Ginger-grass oil from “Sofia”. Burkill pointed out that these two variants are morphologically as well as aromatically distinguishable in the field. In the herbarium, however, they cannot be separated. Gupta (in Proc. Indian Acad. Sci., Sect. B, 71:97. 1970) has shown that “Motia” is diploid whereas “Sofia” is tetraploid, and he has suggested that the latter should be given varietal status as Cymbopogon martini var. sofia (although he had already (l.c.92) given “Motia” specific status).