Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Chrysopogon zizanioides
(vetiver)

Rojas-Sandoval J, 2020. Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.18528934.20203483484

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Datasheet

Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 18 November 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Chrysopogon zizanioides
  • Preferred Common Name
  • vetiver
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Chrysopogon zizanioides is a grass native to Asia, now widely introduced and cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are two types, an infertile domesticated type and a fertile wild type. C. zizanioides...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak rows. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak rows. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak rows. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
HabitChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak rows. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak row. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak row. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak row. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.
HabitChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); windbreak row. Pono Grown Farm Center Olinda, Maui, Hawaii. November 2015.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); young grass. Laulima Farm Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii. June 2012
TitleYoung grass
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); young grass. Laulima Farm Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii. June 2012
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); young grass. Laulima Farm Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii. June 2012
Young grassChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); young grass. Laulima Farm Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii. June 2012©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); flowering grass relative to human height. December 2017.
TitleHabit
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); flowering grass relative to human height. December 2017.
Copyright©Ratel/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); flowering grass relative to human height. December 2017.
HabitChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); flowering grass relative to human height. December 2017.©Ratel/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); seeding habit. Kokomo Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. November 2009.
TitleSeeding habit
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); seeding habit. Kokomo Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. November 2009.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); seeding habit. Kokomo Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. November 2009.
Seeding habitChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); seeding habit. Kokomo Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. November 2009.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); Seedhead. Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. July 2009.
TitleSeedhead
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); Seedhead. Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. July 2009.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); Seedhead. Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. July 2009.
SeedheadChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); Seedhead. Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. July 2009.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); leaves in hand. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. March 2011.
TitleLeaves
CaptionChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); leaves in hand. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. March 2011.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); leaves in hand. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. March 2011.
LeavesChrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver); leaves in hand. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. March 2011.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty

Preferred Common Name

  • vetiver

Other Scientific Names

  • Anatherum muricatum (Retz.) P.Beauv.
  • Anatherum zizanioides (L.) Hitchc. & Chase
  • Andropogon muricatus Retz.
  • Andropogon zizanioides (L.) Urb.
  • Chamaeraphis muricata (Retz.) Merr.
  • Holcus zizanioides (L.) Stuck.
  • Phalaris zizanioides L.
  • Rhaphis zizanioides (L.) Roberty
  • Sorghum zizanioides (L.) Kuntze
  • Vetiveria arundinacea Griseb.
  • Vetiveria muricata (Retz.) Griseb.
  • Vetiveria odorata Virey
  • Vetiveria odoratissima Lem.-Lis.
  • Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash

International Common Names

  • English: cuscus grass; khus-khus grass; vetiver grass
  • Spanish: anis de moro; pacholí; raíz de móras; zacate violeta
  • French: chiendent odorant; vétiver
  • Chinese: xiang gen cao
  • Portuguese: capim-de-cheiro; capim-sândalo; capim-vetiver; patchuli; patchuli-falso

Local Common Names

  • Haiti: herbe vétivert
  • India: garara; khas khas
  • Indonesia: akar wangi; larasetu; usar
  • Jamaica: khus khus
  • Malaysia: akar wangi; kusu-kusu; nara wastu
  • Philippines: amora; anis de moro ; moras
  • Puerto Rico: baúl de pobre; pachulí
  • Thailand: faek; ya-faekhom; ya-faeklum
  • Vietnam: hương bài; cò hương bài

Summary of Invasiveness

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Chrysopogon zizanioides is a grass native to Asia, now widely introduced and cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are two types, an infertile domesticated type and a fertile wild type. C. zizanioides can grow in a wide range of soils and climatic conditions and is very tolerant of disturbance including grazing, fire, floods and drought. This is in part due to its dense root system that can reach depths of over 3 m. All these features have made this species an excellent option for soil and water conservation (among other uses), but also make the fertile wild type of this plant a problematic invasive species. Once established, it grows very densely and has the potential to displace other plant species including other grasses. Currently, vetiver is listed as invasive in China, Fiji, Costa Rica, Anguilla and the Philippines. This species is highly efficient in absorbing dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, and its dense root system can directly alter the soil structure and modify or inhibit nutrient and water acquisition by native species. Due to its deep root system, it is difficult to remove manually. It can be controlled by dense shade and by digging up the crown, and it is susceptible to glyphosate.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Chrysopogon
  •                                 Species: Chrysopogon zizanioides

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Poaceae is a species-diverse family in the Angiosperms comprising 707 genera and 11,337 species widely distributed in all regions of the world (Stevens, 2017). The taxonomy of the genus Chrysopogon (formerly known as Vetiveria) is not yet well established (Filgueiras, 2015).

For the species Chrysopogon zizanioides, it is generally accepted that there are two types: the 'wild' type from north India, and the 'domesticated' type, which originated in south India

The wild type produces fertile seeds while the domesticated type is essentially sterile as the plant either never flowers, or when it does it produces seeds that are sterile. Several varieties and cultivars have been developed, but almost all of them are derived from the domesticated type, also known as the Sunshine genotype. For example, Sunshine and the cultivars Boucard, Fort Polk, Haiti, Huffman, Monto and Vallonia are genetically the same. Studies using DNA markers have shown that most of the cultivars and varieties cultivated outside South Asia are the sterile type (Adams et al., 1998; De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Veldkamp, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009).

Although the most commonly used commercial genotypes of vetiver are sterile, the fertile genotype that produces viable seed can be found naturalized across China, Southern Asia, the Caribbean and Australia, and is regarded as an invasive weed (Randall, 2017; Connor, 2008; Weber et al., 2008; Chacón and Saborio, 2012; PIER, 2018).

Description

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The following description is from Flora of China Editorial Committee (2020):

Tussocky perennial; roots stout, aromatic. Culms robust, 1 -2.5 m tall, ca. 5 mm in diam. Leaf sheaths glabrous, lower sharply keeled and imbricate in fanlike clusters; leaf blades linear, pale green, stiff, 30 -90 × 0.5 -1 cm, pilose on adaxial surface toward base, otherwise glabrous; ligule a scarious rim. Panicle oblong in outline, 20 -30 cm, usually contracted, purplish; branches numerous, lowermost 5 -20 cm, bare at base, smooth or slightly scaberulous; racemes slender, with 5 -13 spikelet pairs and a terminal triad; internodes and pedicels slightly scabrid. Sessile spikelet linear-lanceolate to almost linear, 4 -5 mm; callus rounded, subglabrous; lower glume muricate, 3 -5-veined, veins spinulosely aculeate, apex acute; upper glume spinulosely aculeate on keel, not awned; upper lemma slightly 2-toothed, awnless or mucronate; mucro 0 -2 mm, not exserted. Pedicelled spikelet staminate, sparingly aculeolate or almost smooth.

Plant Type

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Grass / sedge
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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Chrysopogon zizanioides is native to tropical and subtropical Asia, including India, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It has been extensively introduced and can now be found naturalized and in cultivation across Asia, Africa, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and the Pacific region (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; PIER, 2018; Clayton et al., 2020; USDA-ARS, 2020).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroduced
CameroonPresentIntroduced
ComorosPresentIntroduced
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentIntroduced
Congo, Republic of thePresentIntroduced
GabonPresentIntroduced
GhanaPresentIntroduced
LiberiaPresentIntroduced
MadagascarPresentIntroduced
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
-RodriguesPresentIntroduced
RéunionPresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroduced
Sierra LeonePresentIntroduced
TogoPresentIntroduced
ZambiaPresentIntroduced
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroduced
CambodiaPresentNative
ChinaPresentIntroducedInvasiveCultivated
-FujianPresentIntroducedInvasiveCultivated
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
-HainanPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
-JiangsuPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
-SichuanPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
-YunnanPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
-ZhejiangPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
IndiaPresentNative
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNative
-AssamPresentNative
-BiharPresentNative
-Madhya PradeshPresentNative
-MeghalayaPresentNative
-OdishaPresentNative
-Tamil NaduPresentNative
-Uttar PradeshPresentNative
-West BengalPresentNative
IndonesiaPresentNative
-JavaPresentNative
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentNative
-SumatraPresentNative
JapanPresentIntroducedBonin Islands
-Bonin IslandsPresentIntroduced
LaosPresentNative
MalaysiaPresentNative
-SabahPresentNative
-SarawakPresentNative
MyanmarPresentNative
NepalPresentIntroduced
PakistanPresentIntroduced
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedInvasive
SingaporePresentIntroduced
Sri LankaPresentIntroduced
TaiwanPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated
ThailandPresentNative
VietnamPresentNative

Europe

SpainPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced

North America

AnguillaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Antigua and BarbudaPresentIntroduced
BarbadosPresentIntroduced
BelizePresentIntroduced
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
-Sint EustatiusPresentIntroduced
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedInvasive
CubaPresentIntroduced
DominicaPresentIntroduced
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroduced
El SalvadorPresentIntroduced
GrenadaPresentIntroduced
GuadeloupePresentIntroduced
HaitiPresentIntroduced
HondurasPresentIntroduced
JamaicaPresentIntroduced
MartiniquePresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
MontserratPresentIntroduced
Netherlands AntillesPresentIntroduced
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentIntroduced
Saint LuciaPresentIntroduced
Saint MartinPresentIntroduced
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroduced
Sint MaartenPresentIntroduced
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentIntroduced
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced
-TexasPresentIntroduced

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasive
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced
PalauPresentIntroduced
SamoaPresentIntroduced
TongaPresentIntroduced
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroduced

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced
BrazilPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-BahiaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedNaturalized
ColombiaPresentIntroduced
French GuianaPresentIntroduced
GuyanaPresentIntroduced
ParaguayPresentIntroduced
PeruPresentIntroduced
SurinamePresentIntroduced
UruguayPresentIntroduced
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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In the mid-1980s, C. zizanioides was first promoted by the World Bank for soil and water conservation in India. In 1989, the World Bank published a handbook on Vetiver grass highlighting the potential uses of this species in agriculture, land management and soil conservation (Greenfield, 1989). Since the publication of this handbook, C. zizanioides has been introduced in nearly 100 countries where it is used for steep slope stabilization, wastewater disposal, phyto-remediation of contaminated land and water, and other environmental protection purposes (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Mickovski et al., 2005; Truong et al., 2008).

Chrysopogon zizanioides has been also cultivated for its essential oil for centuries. Currently, the major producers of vetiver oil include Haiti, India, Indonesia, West Java, and Réunion.

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of new introductions of C. zizanioides is very high as this species is extensively used for soil and water conservation but also in perfumery, medicine and as ornamental. A concern is that people may order vetiver plants by mail or online without knowing that fertile genotypes exist, and accidentally import one of these (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; PIER, 2018).

Habitat

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Chrysopogon zizanioides shows a very wide area of climactic adaptation and can be found growing in rainforests, floodplains, swamps and the banks of streams and rivers, deserts, in the frost zones of the Himalayan foothills and in coastal areas where it is subjected to salt spray. It can grow in a wide variety of soil conditions and has been known to grow in bauxite, which is toxic to almost every other vascular plant (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for C. zizanioides is 2n = 20 (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020).

Physiology and Phenology

The root system of C. zizanioides consists of a massive network of fibrous roots that, under favorable conditions, can grow very fast and reach up to 3 m in the first year. Such roots extend deep enough in the soil (3-4 meters) to make this species extremely tolerant to drought and difficult to dislodge by strong water currents (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Longevity and Activity Patterns

Chrysopogon zizanioides, is a coarse, evergreen, perennial grass that forms large, dense clumps 1 - 1.5 m tall, occasionally up to 3 m tall (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Associations

Chrysopogon zizanioides forms mycorrhizal associations with several fungi such as Glomus mosseae and G. fasciculatum (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008)

Environmental Requirements

Chrysopogon zizanioides prefers to grow in areas with annual temperatures ranging from 22°C to 35°C (but tolerates temperatures from -15ºC to 55ºC) and mean annual rainfall ranging from 500 mm to 2500 mm (tolerates 200 mm to 5,000 mm) at elevations from near sea level to about 2500 m. It is well adapted to grow in a wide range of soils such as heavy clays, loams, and poor sands, with pH ranging from 3.3 to 12.5. It also grows in soils with high magnesium and aluminum. It tolerates drought, frosts, salinity, and occasional waterlogging, but does not tolerate shaded conditions. It is also able to establish in areas containing heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, lead, mercury, selenium and zinc (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
45 45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -15
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 22 35
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 55
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 0

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration6number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall2005000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral
  • very acid
  • very alkaline

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline
  • sodic

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Chilo spp. Herbivore Plants|Leaves; Plants|Stems; Plants|Whole plant not specific
Cochliobolus lunatus Pathogen Plants|Leaves; Plants|Whole plant not specific
Curvularia trifolii Pathogen Plants|Leaves; Plants|Whole plant not specific
Fusarium Pathogen Plants|Whole plant not specific
Helminthosporium Pathogen Plants|Leaves; Plants|Whole plant not specific
Pseudocochliobolus eragrostidis Pathogen Plants|Leaves; Plants|Whole plant not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Leaf blight and leaf spot caused by Curvularia trifolii,Curvularia lunata [Cochliobolus lunatus], Curvularia maculans [Pseudocochliobolus eragrostidis] and Helminthosporium spp has been reported in C. zizanioides. Fusarium spp. have also been reported. The larvae of Chilo moths feed on the stems and leaves (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Chrysopogon zizanioides spread by seeds and vegetatively by dividing clumps. In cultivation this species is propagated by manually dividing clumps into splits consisting of one or a few 15-20 cm long shoots with a portion of the roots (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosOccasionally planted as an ornamental Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
DisturbanceOften planted in degraded lands Yes Yes Joy (2009)
ForageForage for cattle and goats Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2020)
Habitat restoration and improvementOften planted for erosion control, soil and water conservation and soil improvement Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
Hedges and windbreaksPlanted as a vegetative barrier Yes Yes Joy (2009)
Industrial purposesExtensively cultivated to extract oil from its roots for use in perfumery, cosmetics, medicine etc. Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
Internet salesPlants sold online Yes Yes
Landscape improvementOften planted for soil and water conservation, soil improvement, habitat regeneration Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
Medicinal useRoots, oil and leaves used in traditional medicine Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
Ornamental purposesOccasionally planted as an ornamental Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
MailPlants sold online Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Environmental Impact

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Chrysopogon zizanioides grows very densely and has the potential to displace other plant species, including other grasses. Its dense root structure and efficient nutrient absorbtion can directly alter the soil structure and modify or inhibit nutrient and water acquisition by native species. Currently, C. zizanioides is listed as invasive in China, Fiji, Costa Rica, Anguilla, and the Philippines and it is also included in the Global Compendium of Weeds (Connor, 2008; Weber et al., 2008; Chacón and Saborio, 2012; Randall, 2017; PIER, 2018).

It has been suggested that the harvesting of C. zizanioides for its roots may actually increase erodibility because the process severely disturbs and loosens the soil (van Noordwijk et al., 2001; Mickovski et al., 2005).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

Chrysopogon zizanioides is cultivated for the oil extracted from the aromatic roots. About 90% of all western perfumes contain vetiver oil (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Joy, 2009). The global vetiver oil market is expected to reach USD 169.5 million by 2022 due to its use in applications including fragrance, pharmaceutical and food and beverage (Grand View Research, 2020).

Social Benefit

Chrysopogon zizanioides has been cultivated for its essential oil for centuries, which is used in perfumery and pharmacological and cosmetic products. It is also used in traditional medicine and as insect repellent. The roots are woven into various articles such as baskets and coarse mats, and also used as an ingredient in curry and beverages. The leaves are used for roof thatch, in mud brick-making for housing construction, made into strings and ropes, and also used as forage for cattle and goats. Garlands made of vetiver grass are used to adorn Hindu temples (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; Gnansounou et al., 2017; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Environmental services

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly used for erosion control, slope stabilization, road bank stabilization, stream bank stabilization, waterway stabilization, the rehabilitation of degraded and contaminated lands and saline soils. It is also used for the phytoremediation of areas with heavy metals, for wastewater treatment and rehabilitation of old mines (De Guzman and Oyen, 1999; Truong et al., 2008; Joy, 2009; Gnansounou et al., 2017).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Drugs, stimulants, social uses

  • Religious

Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Landscape improvement
  • Soil conservation

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Human food and beverage

  • Food additive

Materials

  • Baskets
  • Cosmetics
  • Essential oils
  • Fibre
  • Pesticide

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Chrysopogon zizanioides shows high level of tolerance to herbicides, but it is susceptible to glyphosate. Due to its deep root system, it is very difficult to remove manually. It can be controlled by dense shade and by digging up the crown (Joy, 2009).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Adams, R. P., Zhong, M., Turuspekov, Y., Dafforn, M. R., Veldkamp, J. F., 1998. DNA fingerprinting reveals clonal nature of Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash, Gramineae and sources of potential new germplasm. Molecular Ecology, 7(7), 813-818. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294x.1998.00394.x

Chacón, E., Saborío, G., 2012. Interamerican network of information on invasive species, Costa Rica. (Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica). In: Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica . San José, Costa Rica: Asociación para la Conservación y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad.http://invasoras.acebio.org

Clayton, WD, Govaerts, R, Harman, KT, Williamson, H, Vorontsova, M, 2020. World Checklist of Poaceae. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Connor, RA, 2008. Anguilla Invasive Species Strategy (draft). http://www.gov.ai/documents/Anguilla%20Invasive%20Species%20Strategy%202008%20(2).pdf

De Guzman CC, Oyen LPA, 1999. Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash. In: Plant Resources of South-East Asia 19 Essential-oil plants, Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers. 167-172.

Filgueiras, TS, 2015. Chrysopogon zizanioides. In: Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB20356

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020. Flora of China. In: Flora of China St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Gnansounou E, Alves CM, Raman JK, 2017. Multiple applications of vetiver grass–a review. International Journal of Education and Learning Systems, 2

Grand View Research, 2020. Vetiver Oil Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Application (Medical, Food & Beverage, Spa & Relaxation), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027. San Francisco, California, USA: Grand View Research, Inc.106 pp. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-vetiver-oil-market

Greenfield JC, 1989. Vetiver Grass: The ideal plant for vegetative soil and moisture conservation. Washington DC, USA: ASTAG - The World Bank.

Joy RJ, 2009. ‘SUNSHINE’ VETIVERGRASS Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty. Hoolehua, Hawaii, USA: USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center.

Mickovski, S. B., Beek, L. P. H. van, Salin, F., 2005. Uprooting of vetiver uprooting resistance of vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides). Plant and Soil, 278(1/2), 33-41. doi: 10.1007/s11104-005-2379-0

Ou Jian, Lu ChangYi, O'Toole, D. K., 2008. A risk assessment system for alien plant bio-invasion in Xiamen, China. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 20(8), 989-997. doi: 10.1016/S1001-0742(08)62198-1

PIER, 2018. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Randall, R. P., 2017. A global compendium of weeds, (Ed.3) [ed. by Randall, R. P.]. Perth, Australia: R. P. Randall.iii + 3653 pp.

Stevens, P. F., 2017. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14. In: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14 . St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

Truong P, Van TT, Pinners E, 2008. Vetiver system applications technical reference manual. The Vetiver Network International.89.

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Useful Tropical Plants, 2020. Useful tropical plants database. In: Useful tropical plants database : K Fern.http://tropical.theferns.info/

Van Noordwijk M, Brouwer G, Meijboom F, Oliveira MDRG, Bengough AG, 2001. Trench profile techniques and core break methods. In: Root Methods, Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. 211-233.

Veldkamp, J. F., 1999. A revision of Chrysopogon Trin. including Vetiveria Bory (Poaceae) in Thailand and Malesia with notes on some other species from Africa and Australia. Austrobaileya, 5(3), 503-533.

Weber, E., Sun ShiGuo, Li Bo, 2008. Invasive alien plants in China: diversity and ecological insights. Biological Invasions, 10(8), 1411-1429. doi: 10.1007/s10530-008-9216-3

Zuloaga, F. O., Morrone, O., Davidse, G., Filgueiras, T. S., Peterson, P. M., Soreng, R. J., Judziewicz, E. J., 2003. Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae): III. Subfamilies Panicoideae, Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae and Danthonioideae, [ed. by Zuloaga, F. O., Morrone, O., Davidse, G., Filgueiras, T. S., Peterson, P. M., Soreng, R. J., Judziewicz, E. ]. Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.662 pp.

Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

CABI, 2020. CABI Distribution Database: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Chacón E, Saborío G, 2012. Interamerican network of information on invasive species, Costa Rica. (Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica.). In: Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica: Asociación para la Conservación y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad. http://invasoras.acebio.org

Chong K Y, Tan H T W, Corlett R T, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

Clayton WD, Govaerts R, Harman KT, Williamson H, Vorontsova M, 2020. World Checklist of Poaceae., London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Connor RA, 2008. Anguilla Invasive Species Strategy (draft)., http://www.gov.ai/documents/Anguilla%20Invasive%20Species%20Strategy%202008%20(2).pdf

Filgueiras TS, 2015. Chrysopogon zizanioides. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB20356

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2019. Flora of China. In: Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Mickovski S B, Beek L P H van, Salin F, 2005. Uprooting of vetiver uprooting resistance of vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides). Plant and Soil. 278 (1/2), 33-41. DOI:10.1007/s11104-005-2379-0

Ou Jian, Lu ChangYi, O'Toole D K, 2008. A risk assessment system for alien plant bio-invasion in Xiamen, China. Journal of Environmental Sciences. 20 (8), 989-997. http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/709941/description#description DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(08)62198-1

PIER, 2018. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2020. The PLANTS Database. In: The PLANTS Database, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

Weber E, Sun ShiGuo, Li Bo, 2008. Invasive alien plants in China: diversity and ecological insights. Biological Invasions. 10 (8), 1411-1429. http://www.springerlink.com/content/c25570xj6u44645h/?p=3d093fec46ab4097b45b287d6033e986&pi=21 DOI:10.1007/s10530-008-9216-3

Zhang W, Liu J X, Huo P H, 2017. Phoma herbarum causes leaf spots and blight on vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) in southern China. Plant Disease. 101 (10), 1823-1824. DOI:10.1094/pdis-04-17-0519-pdn

Zuloaga F O, Morrone O, Davidse G, Filgueiras T S, Peterson P M, Soreng R J, Judziewicz E J, 2003. Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae): III. Subfamilies Panicoideae, Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae and Danthonioideae. [ed. by Zuloaga F O, Morrone O, Davidse G, Filgueiras T S, Peterson P M, Soreng R J, Judziewicz E]. Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. 662 pp.

Contributors

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11/02/20 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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