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Vetiver grass

    Vetiver grass has many synonyms but is currently classified scientifically as Chrysopogon zizanioides. The previous nomenclature was Vetiveria zizanioides. It is a native grass of India and is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of the world. Vetiver grass displays a very wide area of climactic adaptation and is found in rainforests, deserts, in frost zones of the Himalayan foothills, and in coastal areas where it is subjected to salt spray. It can grow in a wide variety of soil conditions and has been known to grow in bauxite which is toxic to almost every other vascular plant. The root system has been measured to depths of over nine feet and grow almost straight downward. Vetiver grass grows very densely and has stopped the spread of weeds such as Bermuda grass. The plant is very tolerant of disturbance including grazing, fire, and drought. It is very difficult to kill, however slicing off the crown will eliminate it. It is resistant to most herbicides but has been known to succumb to the herbicide glyphosate. Vetiver grass is very resistant to disease and pests. It reproduces by seed however there are varieties that produce sterile seed. It has been used primarily for erosion control but also has uses in medicine, mat and basket production, hedgerows, firebreaks, insect repellent, scented oils, perfumes, and soaps. The characteristics that make this plant desirable for erosion control are also the characteristics that define an invasive species. Without any specific research on the potential invasiveness of this species, it is not recommended to use this plant for erosion control.

  • 'Sunshine' Vetivergrass - Plant Guide


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