Cymbopogon obtectus S.T.Blake


Pap. Dept Biol. Univ. Queensland 2: 55 (1944) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e)

Tufted, lemon-scented perennial, culms to c. 1 m high. Leaf-blades flat or slightly channelled, to 40 cm long and 4 mm wide, glabrous; sheaths of lower leaves often with some short, woolly hairs; ligules glabrous, 2–5 mm long. Inflorescence dense, to c. 15 cm long, densely silky-hairy; racemes 1.5–2.5 cm long, about as long as the subtending spathes, usually deflexed at maturity; glumes of fertile spikelet c. 5 mm long, the lower flat, the upper keeled; sterile lemma c. 4 mm long, thinner than glumes; fertile lemma c. 3 mm long, hyaline, with a fine awn c. 5 mm long attached between the 2 apical lobes; sterile spikelet of 2 empty glumes, resembling, but thinner than, fertile spikelet. Flowers all year.

MuF, MuM. All mainland states. Extremely rare in Victoria, where known from a few pre-1900 collections (Dimboola, 'Mallee' and 'Murray River'), a 1969 collection from near Tocumwal and a 2006 collection from a rail reserve near Werribee where presumed naturalised. The 'nativeness' in Victoria of this common species of northern Australia is questionable, with early introduction via stock or fodder being possible. It does not appear to have persisted at any of the previous recorded sites. It is sometimes cultivated for ornament and use as a native 'lemon grass'.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2019-02-21
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Cymbopogon
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cymbopogon obtectus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cymbopogon obtectus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present uncertain
Murray Fans present uncertain

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory