The 6th International Vetiver Conference – May 5-8 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015


This conference, “Vetiver System: Empowering Sustainable Development”, is only 3 months away and will be held in Danang, Vietnam.. We encourage you and your colleagues to attend this conference to see and hear how the Vetiver System can significantly and positively impact on crucial environmental related development issues that are facing those dependent on land and water. These issues range from reducing soil and water loss, improving groundwater, mitigating disasters caused by extreme weather conditions, stabilizing soil based infrastructure, decontaminating polluted soil and water, and other related topics.

 Many users of the technology will be attending, and participants will learn how the Vetiver System technology can be applied successfully under different climatic and topographical conditions. We would encourage those of you who have social media sites to post this message, and in particular copy it to key professionals in your community (government and non-government) at local and state level. For details of the conference and registration see:

Note there is a 20% discount for registration before January 31 2015.

Vetiver Grass Installation Guide from US Department of Agriculture Now Available

Sunday, January 25, 2015


An excellent document is now available that provides basic guidelines for installing vetiver grass in soil conservation applications. This guide was published in 2012 by the Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Pacific Islands Area.

The 16-page PDF document (in English) can be downloaded free from the Agriflora Tropicals online store. There you will also find many other valuable free documents and several vetiver plant packages that can be ordered for shipment to USA destinations.

Click Vetiver Grass Installation Guide - USDA to receive your copy.

Announcing the 6th International Conference on Vetiver (ICV-6)

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Looking for an excuse to visit Vietnam?

The Organizing Committee of the Sixth International Conference on Vetiver has the great pleasure of extending invitation to you to join the significant event which is to be held in 5-8 May 2015 in Danang City, Vietnam.


With the theme Vetiver System: Empowering Sustainable Development, ICV-6 aims at promoting the application of vetiver in the global task of sustanable development of agriculture, civil engineering, environment (including water and land improvement and rehabilitation) and other possible areas. Continuing the success of ICVs in the past years, ICV-6 promisingly creates an effective forum for those interested in, passionate about and experienced in Vetiver System's applications. It also provides opportunities for networking, business, professional growth and learning.

Download the schedule and full information package at this Third Announcement page, or visit the conference website at the conference website.

Donations to The Vetiver Network International

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The Vetiver Network International needs a little help so that it can keep moving forward!  It needs additional funds through donations to keep it going and to help generate and share the stream of Vetiver System information that has enabled the technology to steadily expand throughout the world.  A “Donate” button has been set on their website at  that will allow donations of any size to be received, using an acceptable credit card or a PayPal account.  The act of donating will generate automatically a receipt by email that can support the donation when claiming, if necessary, a tax deduction.  TVNI is a non profit organization and is classified as a charity. Remember also that all donations are used for Vetiver System promotion (as TVNI has no paid staff and has minimal overheads).

I hardly need remind you that the Vetiver System provides an important technology at this time of climate change with particular importance in helping to assure food security through soil and water conservation and soil fertility maintenance; mitigating contaminated land and water; stabilizing slopes; and for reducing the impact of disasters due to extreme rainfall events. There are many examples of what the Vetiver System can do and what it has done - all of which can be found on their website at:

Selecting the Correct Vetiver Grass for Soil Conservation Projects

Friday, August 16, 2013


In a recent discussion on The Facebook Vetiver Grass Network, a member from Jamaica was concerned about finding the correct vetiver grass to propagate for a local project. The register of verified vetiver growers in The Vetiver Network International does not include any sources in Jamaica. Without a trusted source, the selection of planting material can be tricky.

Dale Rachmeler, Vetiver Network Director for Sub-Sahara Africa replied in that discussion:
There are at least 11 species of vetiver and lots of cultigens and cultivars. Only one of the species, Chrysopogon zizanioides, is sterile (actually it sets infertile seed very infrequently) - so no viable seeds in C. zizanioides. Its root system is vertical in nature made of a mass of fine roots growing vertically downwards originating from the crown of the plant that is usually 4-6 inches below the surface of the ground,

The flower stems and leaves also emerge from the same crown that has nodes that encircle the crown. New crowns can be formed on the nodes of on the flower stem that appear for up to 12 inches above ground. These nodes are activated when soil accumulates behind hedges and the nodes are covered by that accumulated soil. These nodes then produce new plants that have the emerging crowns and this is the mechanism by which vetiver hedges can protect the front side of the accumulated soil and create a vegetative barrier that rises more or less vertically with the increased accumulation of soil (the creation of natural terraces).

If farmers or other locals see what they think is vetiver encroaching into their fields then it is definitely not C. zizanioides. All the other species of vetiver are seeded and can be invasive. For example, on the African continent you have C. nigritana which is found all over the place in isolated clumps that were formed from seed that is blown mostly by the wind. It has also been used for vegetative barriers but has a much smaller root mass than zizanioides (let's say by a factor of 3-5). For most people it is very difficult to tell the difference between these two species as they look very similar above ground. There is a slight difference of color of the flowers, and the spacing between the flowers on the stem is slightly different. The root color for nigritana is browner than for zizanioides which has a lighter color.

C. zizanioides has spread around the world mainly for its essential oil in the roots (1800s to 1900s) and recently since 1990, mainly because the Vetiver Network has taken it to over a 100 countries for soil and water conservation. In this modern era, DNA typing is available and affordable and is the only definitive way to make sure you have zizanioides. Once you have it, you are set to go and since you can multiply a clone when you grow it in a nursery.

The most practical and reliable way is to know the origin of the nursery material. There is more information on The Vetiver Network International dealing with the species variation and the distinctions between them. A collection of African vetiver is held in South Africa and is being tested for DNA. India holds a collection of all species and they mainly do breeding work for oil bearing zizanioides cultigens. Please continue to ask questions and be curious about vetiver. In the end I think you will find that it is a very worthwhile issue to get involved with.
The plants from Agriflora Tropicals, available to the USA and its territories, at the Agriflora Tropicals store, are certified to be of the non-invasive type by the US Department of Agriculture. In other countries, checking the list of verified sources on The Vetiver Network plant suppliers page is the best first step. Read more about the vetiver plant in "The Plant" section of this blog.

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