Vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a unique miracle plant with a myriad of uses and applications in the fields of phytoremediation, wastewater treatment and disposal, erosion and sediment control, soil and water conservation, and steep slope stabilisation.
The mastery of Vetiver grass is due to its superior characteristics. A fast growing, perennial, tufted grass with a vast interlinked root system; Vetiver can act as a living filter and nail reinforcement system. The dense, deep and strong root structure of Vetiver grass has a tensile strength of 75Mpa (1/6th of mild steel) and grows to vertical depths of 5+ metres, serving to bind and reinforce soil sheer strength by up to 45%. The thick and stiff stem networks of Vetiver grass create dense hedges that dissipate energy, control water runoff, trap sediments, increase water infiltration and retention, serving to stabilise and protect the soil.
These unique attributes are further bolstered by Vetiver’s ability to increase soil microbial activity, allowing for the grass to break down, absorb and store heavy metal toxicities, herbicides and pesticides. Vetiver thrives in a variety of soils; sandy, saline, water logged, acidic, alkaline and toxic. A resilient and adaptable grass, Vetiver is disease and pest resistant, can recover after fires, and withstands prolonged periods of flooding and drought, surviving in air temperatures of -15C to 55C. Most importantly, Vetiver grass is sterile, which means it has NO weed potential, allowing for Vetiver to be shaped and applied for specific use without the threat of it spreading or competing with other vegetation.