Some species (particularly Cymbopogon citratus), are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons (Citrus limon). Common names include lemon grass, lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, cha de Dartigalongue, fever grass, tanglad, hierba Luisa, or gavati chaha, amongst many others.
Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) grow to about 2 m (6.6 ft) and have magenta-colored base stems.
These species are used for the production of citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent (especially mosquitoes) in insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy, which is famous in Bintan Island, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Citronella is usually planted in home gardens to ward off insects such as whitefly adults.
A subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.
It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef, and seafood.
Lemongrass oil is used as a pesticide and a preservative. Research shows that lemongrass oil has antifungal properties.
Despite its ability to repel some insects, such as mosquitoes, its oil is commonly used as a "lure" to attract honey bees.