Tufted, usually aromatic perennials, rarely annuals. Culm internodes solid; nodes glabrous. Ligule membranous, sometimes fringed. Inflorescence a panicle, composed of paired, often deflexed, spike-like racemes, each pair subtended by a leafy bract or spathe; terminal spikelets in threes, others in pairs, the lower of each pair or triplet sessile and bisexual, the upper 1 or 2 pedicellate, usually male, sometimes sterile; glumes 2, subequal; lower lemma sterile, shorter than glumes; upper lemma fertile, bilobed, sometimes awned; palea absent.
About 60 species, from tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands; 9 occurring in Australia, 2 in Victoria.
Cymbopogon citrata is Lemon-grass and C. nardus provides citronella oil (neither species grows naturally or is naturalised in Victoria).