Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty, Bull. Inst. Franç. Afrique Noire, A 22: 106 1960. (syn. Agrostis verticillata Lam. [Illegitimate]; Anatherum muricatum (Retz.) P.Beauv.; Anatherum zizanioides (L.) Hitchc. & Chase; Andropogon aromaticus Roxb. ex Schult. [Invalid]; Andropogon muricatum Retz. [Spelling variant]; Andropogon muricatus Retz.; Andropogon nardus Blanco [Illegitimate]; Andropogon odoratus Steud. [Invalid]; Andropogon zizanioides (L.) Urb.; Chamaeraphis muricata (Retz.) Merr.; Holcus zizanioides (L.) Stuck.; Oplismenus abortivus Roem. & Schult. [Invalid]; Phalaris zizanioides L.; Rhaphis muricata (Retz.) Steud. [Invalid]; 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; Vetiveria zizanioides var. tonkinensis A.Camus);
Hindi: Bala, Balah, Bena, Ganrar, Khas, Onei, Panni; Urdu: Khas; Bengali: Khas-Khas; Gujarati: Valo; Marathi: Vala Khas-Khas; Mundari: Birnijono, Sirum, Sirumjon; Oudh: Tin; Punjabi: Panni; Sadani: Birni; Santali: Sirom; Telugu: Avurugaddiveru, Kuruveeru, Lamajjakamuveru, Vettiveeru, Vidavaliveru; Tamil: Ilamichamver, Vettiver, Vilhalver, Viranam; Kannada: Vettiveeru, Laamanche, Kaadu, Karidappasajje hallu; Malayalam: Ramaccham, Ramachehamver Vettiveru;
Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver (derived from the Tamil: வெட்டிவேர் vettiver) is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family, native to India. In western and northern India, it is popularly known as khus.
Vetiver can grow up to 1.5 metres high and form clumps as wide. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and rather rigid; the flowers are brownish-purple. Unlike most grasses, which form horizontally spreading, mat-like root systems, vetiver’s roots grow downward, 2–4 m in depth.
Vetiver is most closely related to Sorghum but shares many morphological characteristics with other fragrant grasses, such as lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), citronella (Cymbopogon nardus, C. winterianus), and palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii). Though it originates in India, vetiver is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of the world. The world’s major producers include Haiti, India, Java, and Réunion.
The most commonly used commercial genotypes of vetiver are sterile (do not produce fertile seeds), and because vetiver propagates itself by small offsets instead of underground stolons, these genotypes are noninvasive and can easily be controlled by cultivation of the soil at the boundary of the hedge. However, care must be taken, because fertile genotypes of vetiver have become invasive.
Vegetatively propagated, almost all vetiver grown worldwide for perfumery, agriculture, and bioengineering has been shown by DNA fingerprinting to be essentially the same nonfertile cultigen (called ‘Sunshine’ in the United States, after the town of Sunshine, Louisiana).
The vetiver grass has a gregarious habit and grows in bunches. Shoots growing from the underground crown make the plant frost– and fire-resistant, and allow it to survive heavy grazing pressure. The leaves can become up to 120–150 cm long and 0.8 cm wide. The panicles are 15–30 centimeters long and have whorled, 2.5–5.0 centimeters long branches. The spikelets are in pairs, and there are three stamens.
The plant stems are erect and stiff. They can persist deep water flow. Under clear water, the plant can survive up to two months.
The root system of vetiver is finely structured and very strong. It can grow 3–4 m deep within the first year. Vetiver has no stolons nor rhizomes. Because of all these characteristics, the vetiver plant is highly drought-tolerant and can help to protect soil against sheet erosion. In case of sediment deposition, new roots can grow out of buried nodes.
Vetiver grass is grown for many different purposes. The plant helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion, but it can also protect fields against pests and weeds. Vetiver has favourable qualities for animal feed. From the roots, oil is extracted and used for cosmetics, aromatherapy , herbal skincare and ayurvedic soap . Due to its fibrous properties, the plant can also be used for handicrafts, ropes and more.
(From Wikipedia on 24.1.15)
Grass for ID : 021210 :AK-2: Taken at the Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai, Maharashtra on the 19th of Sept.
This was growing in the water.
grass Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty ???:
Found this grass today, beside railway track in Hooghly. This could be BENA or KHAS-KHAS grass in Bengali.
Species : Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty (syn. Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash.) ???
more synonyms : http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-405169
Bengali name : BENA, KHAS-KHAS (if the ID is correct)
Habit & Habitat : grass; culm = 90 cm X 5 mm, slightly compressed; leaf = 75 cm X 0.9 cm, folded and covers culm; panicle = 39 cm; each raceme = 10 cm to 13 cm; very deeply (?) rooted, could not uproot one
Date : 6/7/12, 8.25 a.m.
Place : Nalikul, Hooghly
Information on the species is available at –
Description differs to some degree in the above websites and to some extent with this posted species, specially relating to panicle and raceme length.
dig some roots it has nice aroma
I have read about the scented roots of Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.). But it was not possible to dig the roots. It was beside a rail-line and there was human … everywhere! I will have to find the grass somewhere else.
I took a herbarium of this grass to BSI Shibpur today. It has been identified as Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.), though authentication could not be done with seal & signature because i didn’t maintain proper protocol.
Attachments (3). 3 posts by 3 authors.
Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty
syn: Vetiveria zizanoides
The grass commonly used for making khas khas mats, photographed from Delhi.
Oh. Not knowing that this is a khas plant. Getting to know so many interesting members of the family.
Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty. SN June 17 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2).
Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty (= Vetiveria zizanioides(L.) Nash),
Cultivated grass from Coonor area of Nilgiri Tamilnadu at an altitude of 1500m,
root is aromatic and cooling, added in hair oils, perfumes, drinking water etc.
Fwd: [efloraofindia:211226] POEACEA ID from Bangladesh SM 188- 1 : 7 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).
June15sk07/07 : Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty? : 4 posts by 2 authors.
This is possibly the same specimen as in efi thread
Yes it is. Also called Vetiveria zizanoides – Khus –
The roots being aromatic are used in air coolers and hand fans and also for aromatic oil.
Thank you … Incidentally I have recorded a few images today, though from a distance!
It is Vetiveria zizanioides
Poaceae (tall-grass) for ID :: MK 2017 Jan-05 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)
Please help to ID this tall grass.
Height: c. 5 feet
Habitat: dry lake-beds and near streams
Alt.: 130 m asl
Date: 28 Dec 2016
Place: Guntur Dist., AP
Vetiveria zizanoides (also called Chrysopogon zizanoides by some authors)
SD022 Plant ID assistance : 4 posts by 2 authors. 2 images.
Kindly assist with ID of this grass. Spotted in New Delhi, clicked on Aug 30th
Vetiveria sp., could be V. zizanoides
Chrysopogon zizanoides (Vetiveria zizanoides)
SD021 Plant ID assistance : 6 posts by 3 authors. 2 images.
Kindly assist with ID of this grass. Clicked 30th Aug, 20. Found in New Delhi
POWO does not give its distribution here.
Chrysopogon zizanoides (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Are we sure this is Eragrostis and not Johnson grass (a kind of Sorghum, I suppose) ?