Vetiver Plant & Management Services

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Vetiver grass - Chrysopogon zizanioides - is a tropical clump grass with origin in south India. It has the ability, when planted close together in a line, to create a near perfect barrier that filters out sediment, spreads rainwater, improves the shear strength of soil, and recycles soil nutrients. Vetiver has a wide range of applications, and the common domesticated cultivars used around the world are non-invasive. The plant will virtually grow anywhere except where the winter temperatures result in perma-frost and summers are too mild. Thus it main areas of growth are in the tropics and semi tropics, Mediterranean climates, and in arid regions (when there is available supplementary wate). Its primary uses are for soil and water conservation, soil fertility enhancement, bio-engineeering, phytoremediation of contaminated land and water, disaster mitigation, and a biproduct supply for forage, fuel, handicrafts, and perfumary.

Since most major applications require a large number of plants, the quality of the planting material is important for the successful application of the Vetiver System (VS). This requires nurseries capable of producing large quantities of high quality, low cost plant materials. The exclusive use of only sterile vetiver cultivars (C. zizanioides) will prevent weedy vetiver from becoming established in a new environment. DNA tests prove that the sterile vetiver cultivar used around the world is genetically similar to Sunshine and Monto cultivars, both of which originate in southern India. Given its sterility, this vetiver must be propagated vegetatively.

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