Vetiver Grass (Veteveria zizanioides)

Marilyn Harang would be interested in any research on the plant and its impact on the California eco-system, or any other locations in the U.S. Should you be in a position to share any research you may have knowledge exists out there, please contact her direct at- [email protected] or you can check out their website-

This is what she has written-

To introduce vetiver grass into California (or more specifically to the Bay Area) could, in my opinion, be disastrous. Non-native grasses, especially plants of the size of vetiver grass (to 9 feet tall, roots 12 feet long), quickly outcompete the native vegetation and are extremely difficult to eradicate once they have become established. Examples of invasions by two large, non-native grasses are giant reed (Arundo donax) and pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata), both of which have destroyed native habitats and disturbed the ecological balance in wetlands, watercourses, and marshes around San Francisco Bay (see attached pictures). Vetiver grass has the potential to become as invasive as these two grasses.

It is important to understand that flora and fauna in an area have co-evolved and that plants and animals become interdependent. Native animals are dependent on native plants for food and shelter. Plants are at the bottom of the food chain, therefore, if the plant is not "usable" by an animal species, for example a mouse, the animals higher up in the food chain will also disappear - such as the snake and the hawk.

Veteveria zizanioides is indigenous to India.

Sth west of Melbourn, Australia

Dont worry about your vetiver grass as I have been growing it as a very successful wind break for my vegie garden for 5 years without problems. It is true that its roots go well down & my plants have reached a height of nearly 7 feet, but thats it . It simply doesnt encroach sideways except by sheer bulk! You can grow vegetables right next to the plants.
Vetiver dont flower so there is no seed problems & they are absolutely fabulous for creating terraces on the sides of hills. Slips need to be taken in spring by chopping pieces (which must include rootlets) off the side of plants & for an impenetrable hedge in around 4 years plant them about 3 ft-- 4ft apart & keep moist all summer.
Vetiver is well known in the tropics for being able to address erosion & even prevent potential mud slides. Unlike a lot of these large coarse grasses vetifer is soft & will not cut you, & can be used for animal fodder also. The roots are used in perfumery!

Marilyn Harang would be interested in any research on the plant and its impact on the California eco-system, or any other locations in the U.S.
I personally don't have any Vetiver Grass. It is just now beginning to gain in popularity here in the US for many of the reasons you mentioned. Fortunately, we haven't been using it for erosion control.

Welcome to DG babaco, I just clicked on your user name and noticed you just joined. May you have many wonderful years here with all the other gardeners.

Sth west of Melbourn, Australia

Thanks Equilibrium,
I know I will enjoy my membership here with likeminded folks. Although I live close to the south coast of Australia which gets extremely variable temperatures ( even day to day sometimes) my real gardening passion is the challenge of growing semi-tropical fruits & vegetables. I hope i will be able to entice some of you to try them.
Regardens Babaco.

Semi-tropicals... you hope you will be able to entice me to try some of them??? babaco, go for it. I'm a plantaholic like everyone else here so I'm sure you would have success enticing me. What do you have in mind?

Northeast Harbor, ME

My ears are perked up by the semi - tropical fruits and vegetables too. Right now, I'm trying to "vernalize" artichikes so that we can get a crop in this year. My boss likes all sorts of Vietnamese vegetables and she'd love it if we could grow things like that.

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