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Vetiveria zizanioides - (L.)Nash.

Common Name Vetiveria, Vetivergrass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open dry places at elevations up to 1000 metres in Nepal[272].
Range Tropics.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Vetiveria zizanioides Vetiveria, Vetivergrass

Vetiveria zizanioides Vetiveria, Vetivergrass


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NOTE: See Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty for a more recent update of this plant.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Vetiveria zizanioides is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1.6 m (5ft) by 1.6 m (5ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Chrysopogon zizanioides. Anatherum zizanioides

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment

The roots are aromatic and are used as a food flavouring[169]. An essential oil obtained from the roots is used as a flavouring in sherbets, syrup sweets, fruit drinks and canned asparagus[46, 301]. It is used in certain canned foods, such as asparagus and peas, to reinforce the natural odour and taste[310].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The essential oil obtained from the roots is used medicinally as a carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic, antispasmodic and sudorific[310]. A stimulant drink is made from fresh rhizomes[310]. The plants are used as an anthelmintic[310].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Pot-pourri  Soil stabilization

The aromatic roots are used in pot-pourri and perfumes[169, 272]. The essential oil from the roots is used in perfumery[272]. The plant has deep-rooted and far-ranging roots that make it a valuable plant for controlling soil erosion in cultivated fields. It is often planted along the contour lines for this purpose.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

This species cannot tolerate hard frosts. In areas that experience much frost, it is better to divide up the plant in the autumn, potting up the divisions and over-wintering them in a greenhouse before planting them back outdoors in late spring[169]. Vetiveria grass is a fast-growing grass that is non-invasive, very deep rooting, insect and vermin proof. It is drought-resistant, and also withstands inundation. It is much planted in the tropics and sub-tropics where its extensive root system makes it valuable for erosion control. Vetiveria zizanioides (syn Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a plant of the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 35°c, but can tolerate 12 - 45°c[418]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -15°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c[418]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 200 - 5,000mm[418]. Prefers a moisture-retentive soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in a very wide range of soils, tolerating occasional waterlogging once established[418]. Plants are very tolerant of saline soils[418]. Prefers a Ph in the range 4.5 - 8, tolerating 3 - 9.9[418]. A yield of 1 - 5 tonnes of dried roots per hectare can be harvested annually, at an oil content of 0.7 - 2.5%, this produces 40 - 100 kilos of essential oil[418].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Donald Thompson   Fri Dec 26 19:33:27 2003

The plant is not propagated by seed. No seed will germinate. Therefore, will not become weed itself. Propagation is by breaking up the root (tillers) and planting pieces of root. The blades of grass cuttings make an excellent garden mulch. I cut down mature plants twice a year using a sharp knife and prunning lopper. Prepare a thick row of vetiver mulch then after a few months, plant pineapple directly into mulch. D. Thompson, Belize Central America

Link: The Vetiver Network Vetiver Grass Technology

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