Cymbopogon winterianus in cultivated field
Botanical Name:Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt.
English Name:Citronella (Java)
Citronella is cultivated in Nepal within the altitude of 500-1600m. It is native to Sri Lanka but cultivated in different tropical and sub tropical regions of the globe. It is tall aromatic perennial grass reaching up to 2m. Leaves fragrant, leaf blade linear, tapering to a long membranous, acuminate tip. Inflorescence large and drooping and end in racemose pair supported by the proper sheaths; Racemes are sessile or short; longer pedicelled with tow lower spikelets. Propagation is extensively carried out by slips (vegetative method).
Citronella oil is obtained by steam distillation of partially wilted leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus.
Citronella oil is extensively used in perfumery perparations such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics etc.
Medicinal & Aromatherapy use:
Anti-infectious, antiseptic, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic fungicidal, insect repellent (mosquito), stomachic, excessive perspiration, oily skin and hair, room deodorizer, rheumatism and arthritic pain
Colour:Light Yellow or Yellowish Brown
Aroma :Fresh and sweet, Powerful, citronellal scent
Specific gravity:0.870 to 0.95 at 25° C
Optical rotation:[-] 5° to 0° at 25° C
Refractive index :1.465 to 1.485 at 25° C
Acid number:0.5 to 3.5
Ester number:20 to 40
Ester number after acetylation:250 to 2805
Solubility :Soluble in 0.8 to 1.5 vol. of 80% alcohol
Total alcohol:80 to 90% (calculated as geraniol)
Aldehyde content: 21.5 to 35% (Hydroxylamine hydrochoride method)
Geraniol, citronellol (dominating in the Java oil, about 80%), geranyl acetate, limonene, citronellyl acetate, elemol and camphene are active constituents. Others are citronellal, neral, β-caryophyllene, β-elemene, γ-cadinene and traces of cubenene, calamenene, bourbonene, bisabolene, eugenol, nerol, linalool etc.