Vetiver Grass

Permaculture design works with Bill Mollison’s ‘each element performs many functions’ principle. So when choosing your plants, look for species that can perform multiple functions. Whether it’s in small suburban gardens or on large-scale properties, vetiver grass does exactly that.Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) is a perennial bunchgrass native to India and Ceylon. It grows up to 1.5 metres in height and shoots from an underground crown, which makes it resistant to frost, fire and heavy grazing. As long as it’s planted in full sun, vetiver will tolerate a broad range of climates from tropical, semi-arid through to temperate zones. And it isn’t particularly picky when it comes to soil quality, either.Lauded for its value in permaculture systems and trialled extensively by practitioners around the world, this versatile grass can slow water run-off and remedy soil erosion, while boasting a wide variety of other uses from fodder through to fragrance.