Lemon grass

Highly vigorous, lemon grass is easy to cultivate and to propagate by dividing its stems. It grows in large clumps, however it does not tolerate very low temperatures, which can even kill it off. Widely used in Asian cookery, mainly the stem. The leaves, fresh or dried, are used in infusions, which are particularly popular in Portugal as an aid to digestion. However, in other countries, it is used for its antidepressant and pain relieving properties. It can reach 1 metre in height if growing conditions are favourable. It likes moist, well-drained areas. The shrub can be used to repel insects, as it is the source of the essential oil commonly known as citronella, widely used in the production of candles, cosmetics and perfumes.