Broad Leaved Turpentine Grass
Broad leaved Turpentine Grass


500 - 1 500 mm tall

80 - 250 mm long

6 - 10 mm long

3 - 5 mm long

Leaf blade:
50 - 300 mm long, 14 mm wide

A robust tussocky perennial grass that grows to 1,5 m high. Leaves usually flat, 
greyish, up to 1,4 cm wide, with turpentine-like smell. The leaf blades are rounded 
at the base. The lowest culm nodes are exposed. The ligule is an unfringed to a 
fringed membrane. Inflorescence is a decompound leafy panicle with complex of 
partial inflorescences and intervening foliar organs. The spikelet-bearing axes are 
short, spikelike racemes, each pair with a spatheole. The spikelets are in pairs in 
'long-and-short' combinations that are pedicellate/sessile. The pedicellate 
spikelets are male only or sterile. The sessile female fertile spikelets are 3-7 mm
long and have a deep narrow groove on the lower glume. Flowers from Nov - May
Occurs in areas where annual rainfall exceeds 500 mm per annum, but may occur 
less frequently in areas with lower rainfall. May be found in disturbed or undisturbed 
vegetation. Often found on roadsides, pastures, cultivated fields, as well as grasslands, 
savanna and forests, at altitudes ranging from 30 to 1,500 metres.Grows in most soil 
types, but especially sandy and gravely soil.  
There are about 40 species of Cymbopogon in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and 
Australia. Closely related to the tropical C. caesius.
From the North Eastern part of Africa all the way down to South Africa.

This species is mostly unpalatable due to the bitter turpentine taste that results in 
grazers only utilizing it when there is virtually nothing else available. Often used as a 
thatching grass. In Lesotho it is used to line grain baskets to keep rodents away. 
Contains an essential oil with 18 ingredients.
Image Credits:
Swaziland's Flora Database - Malolotja Nature Reserve Grasses Checklist
David Hoare

Cymbopogon Excavatus