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Tree 25–40(–50) m, forming a lignotuber. Bark smooth throughout, white to pink or coppery, often powdery, shedding in thin, curling flakes. Juvenile leaves petiolate, 14–21 × 4.5–8 cm, ovate to lanceolate and green. Adult leaves glossy green, usually lemon-scented, (7–)10–23 × 0.6–2.8(–3.5) cm, narrowly lanceolate to falcate, margins entire, apex acuminate; petiole flattened, 1.3–2 cm long. Inflorescences axillary, compound; umbellasters with three flowers. Flower buds obovoid to pyriform; hypanthium 0.5–0.7 cm wide; stamens white. Capsule urceolate to barrel-shaped, 0.8–1.5 × 0.7–1.2 cm; valves three, enclosed. Hill & Johnson 1995, Hill 2002c. Distribution AUSTRALIA: New South Wales, Queensland. Habitat Open woodland on shallow sand (over sandstone). USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT275. Taxonomic note Some authorities separate C. citriodora subsp. variegata (F. Muell.) A.R. Bean & M.W. McDonald, which does not have a lemon scent.
The inclusion of this species in New Trees is marginal as it is very tender, but it is easily raised from seed, and with its strong lemon scent is a popular foliage plant. In consequence it is likely to be tried out of doors, and although it will probably be promptly killed by frost, a succession of mild winters may enable it to reach a larger and perhaps slightly hardier size. That this is possible is demonstrated by a tree of about 9 m (19 cm dbh) growing at Logan, which seemed when observed in 2006 to be vigorous, with a straight principal trunk, although the canopy was rather sparse and still composed of the broader juvenile leaves.