VETIVER- Grass of Many Uses
Vetiver is a member of the same part of the grass family as maize, sorghum, sugar cane and lemongrass. It is an ancient plant that has been grown around the world for centuries, with great benefit .
A native of India, Vetiver has had a long history. The name comes from "vetiver," a Tamil word meaning "root that is dug up." The zizanioides was given by Linnaeus in 1771 and means "by the riverside." As you would guess, the native habitat of this grass is in low, damp sites such as swamps and bogs. In spite of that, the grass is now being used on dry hillsides to control erosion.
And by the sea.
Vetiver is a clumping type grass, completely non-invasive. It does not produce viable seed, so there is no seeding out as with some other grasses.
The reason Vetiver works so well for erosion control is it produces a massive root system that grows straight down rather than out from the plant. It creates a sort of curtain beneath the soil, trapping sediment and slowing down the movement of water. Because the grass grows down instead of outward, it does not become invasive. The roots are very deep, so it's best to decide carefully where to plant it because it is very hard to dig up.
Notice the Vetiver Grass between the rows of vegetables, above. The Vetiver will keep the soil from washing away from the roots of the cash crop.
Vetiver Grass can be harvested for mulch.
Other Uses for VetiverVetiver grown in a container for a lovely effect. Keep it pruned to a desired height for maximum visual impact. (Use the cut offs for mulch!)
An open bowl of dried vetiver root can give off a most pleasing aroma for a very long time.
The roots of the plant have been used for centuries as a source of essential oil that makes a wonderful perfume. It is also used for scenting soaps and other cosmetics.
Products from Bali made with aromatic Vetiver Root.
There are myriad more uses for Vetiver Grass. It is used as animal forage at a certain stage of growth. Floating rafts of the grass can be added to ponds to clean water from agricultural runoff, from concentrated animal enclosures, even sewage.
Floating pontoons keep water clean
One last interesting feature of Vetiver is how it recovers from fire.
All the pictures in the current article are taken from vetiver.org.
You can purchase Vetiver Grass from The Herb Cottage here.
VETIVER'S SURPRISING WELLNESS, MEDICINAL AND COSMETIC PROPERTIES