Lemongrass Adaptations in the Savanna

The Lemongrass also called Citronella grass, which is a kind of flowering plant which is part of the grass family.

Citronella grass is found in tropical and subtropical areas. It grows well in sandy, loamy soils, well-drained, and fertile grounds and it requires a lot of rain during the growing season.

Lemongrass Savanna Adaptations

These are adapted to drought. Lemongrass has developed large stomata on either side of the leaves. Also, it has developed special guard cells to regulate the water and gas exchange, and these guard cells open and close the stomata.

These grasses have long tap roots to reach the deep water table making them drought resistant.

What eats lemongrass in the savanna?

  • Zebras,
  • Elephant,
  • Impala,
  • Common Warthog,
  • African buffalo,
  • Grant’s Gazelles

The secondary consumers in Savanna are Cheetah, hyena, and the Lion which also depends on the Lemongrass. Lemongrass is a nutritious and palatable grass that makes it as a popular food source for the herbivores in the Savanna.

This becomes a very important source of food especially in the dry season as other sources become scarce. Of all the above-mentioned animals, Elephants are particularly fond of lemongrass.

Lemon Grass Uses

  • Lemon Grass is used for the production of citronella oil. This citronella oil is used for manufacturing soaps, and insect repellents such as repellents for houseflies, mosquitoes etc. These repellants are made in the form of sprays and candles.
  • This oil is also used in aromatherapy. Citronella is basically an antiseptic due to its chemical composition, as it has geraniol, citronellol etc. Due to this property, it is used in the manufacturing of disinfectants, soaps etc.
  • Besides its industrial value, Citronella grass is also used for culinary purposes.
  • Lemongrass also helps to prevent erosion and maintain the fertility of soil, in the Savanna.
  • In India, the oil of lemongrass is primarily used for the isolation of citral for manufacturing Vitamin A.
  • The spent lemongrass is suitable for making paper and is also used as fuel for the distillation of grass.
  • Lemongrass is also used for mulching coffee.

Cymbopogon flexuosus

This East Indian Grass is also called Cochin grass or Malabar Grass. It is found in India, and other east Indian countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc. Also, there is a West Indian lemongrass called Cymbopogon citratus, which is native to maritime Southeast Asia. This is suitable for cooking.

C.citratus is used as a medical herbal and also used in making perfumes. Also used for making a special tea, for curing anxiety. This tea is used in the Caribbean after brewing to boost immunity. This is called Tanglad in the Philippines.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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