Palmarosa or Cymbopogon martinii is a species of grass in the genus Cymbopogon native to India and Indochina, but widely cultivated in many places for its aromatic oil. It is best known by the common name palmarosa as it smells sweet and rose-like. Other common names include Indian geranium, gingergrass, rosha, and rosha grass.
- Palmarosa, also known as East Indian Geranium, is a native of Indian and grows wild in the forsts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka states. Locally this grass is known as Rusha or Rosa grass.
- The essential oil of palmarosa is used in soaps, perfumes, in scenting of tobacco and for extraction of an important aroma chemical, geraniol, palmarosa, a drought resistant, perennial, aromatic grass, grows to a height of 1.5 – 3.0 meters.
- This crop can be grown throughout Andhra Pradesh as a rainfed crop or irrigated crop in poor and marginal soils, waste lands, black and alkaline soils (PH 9.5).
Nursery – Varieties
- Palmarosa is propagated through seeds. The nursery is raised during May – June months
- 2 – 3 kg seeds kept immersed in water overnight mixed with sand are sown in nursery beds in furrows 2 – 3 cm deep and rows 20 cm apart.
- The nursery beds are irrigated daily. The seedlings (15 – 20 cm height) will be ready for plating in 30 – 40 days, in 1 hectare area.
- Tripta, Trishna and PRC-1 are improved varieties of palmarosa suitable for cultivation in Andhra Pradesh.