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citronella

citronella, common name for a grass, Cymbopogon nardus, the source of oil of citronella, used in perfumes and soaps and as an insect repellent. The plant, with bluish green, lemon-scented leaves, is cultivated in Java and Sri Lanka. Citronella is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Gramineae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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