Everything you Need to Know about Vetiver Grass
What is Vetiver?
Vetiver Grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) a member of the POACEAE family native to South-East Asia. It is a sterile clump-forming perennial grass. It is grown and used in over 120 countries, primarily tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean regions of the world.
There are 12 varieties of Vetiver Grass, the three main varieties are:
Chrysopogon zizanioides: (syn Vetiveria) is sterile clump forming and the variety used in soil and water conservation and land management, including pollution control and bioengineering projects around the world . Cultivar Monto and Sunshine are USDA certified sterile. There is a North Indian Diploid variety grown for the Essential Oil, that can become invasive in wetland conditions
Chrysopogon nigritanus: found in West and Central Africa and is used for soil and water conservation, but is fertile so can spread. There is no information regarding it’s effectiveness is pollution control and bioengineering applications
Chrysopogon nemoralis: also found in South East Asia which has shorter roots and is invasive and so not suitable for soil and water conservation or bio engineering applications.
All plants (Sunshine cultivar) supplied by Vetiver Grass UK are from a certified EU supplier to be the sterile variety of Chrysopogon zizanioides
Vetiver Grass is an extraordinary plant in both its physiological and morphological characteristics:
- Dense finely structured roots
- Root growth 3-4 m in first year in optimum conditions
- Crown has no stolons or rhizomes to spread
- Resistant to frost, fire and animal grazing
- Stems stiff and erect – effective sediment filter
- Disease and pest resistant
- Tolerates extreme climatic conditions
- Survives temperatures -15ºC – +55ºC
- Withstands soil ph 3.3 – 12.5 without amelioration
- Highly efficient at absorbing N & P
- Saline tolerant
- Tolerant of Heavy Metals
- Regrows quickly after fires, frosts, etc
- Tolerant of floods and drought once established
World Wide Applications
Vetiver Grass is used around the world in a diverse range of bio-engineering projects, including:
- Vietnam – The Ho Chi Minh Highway, has been planted with Vetiver Grass for over 15 years. And provides slope stability to over 200km of highway
- Australia – planted in rows to reduce pollution from domestic sewage outfall. This proved so effective that 88% of N and 98% of P was removed from the outflow
- China – polluted settlement lagoons from pig waste were successfully decontaminated using Vetiver pontoons.
- South Africa – planting Vetiver between the rows of vines, significantly, improved crop yields.
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