As part of the grass family with the genus Poaceae, chrysopogon zizanioides, otherwise known as vetiver, is a perennial shrub with deep roots and tall stems. The stiff stems soar five to six feet into the air, with the root system digging as deep as 12-feet into the ground.
When blooming, the plant produces brownish-purple flowers. Originally hailing from the northern and southern areas of India, vetiver has potent anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for use in traditional medicine where it has an extensive, established history as a natural treatment for many different ailments affecting the nervous system.
Vetiver oil, also known as, “Khus oil,” is a popular herbal remedy for treating stress and anxiety, and it’s an excellent choice as a skin moisturizer as well. The therapeutic and environmental advantages of vetiver make it a favorite grass for use in medicinal and landscaping applications Here are eight interesting facts you may not know about this perennial plant and how it can benefit your health.
1. Deep Roots
Vetiver is a perennial plant that grows for many seasons. What makes it such a unique form of grass, is its unique root structure. Most kinds of grass have roots that spread horizontally, forming a mat. However, vetiver roots reach deep into the ground instead of spreading out in a mat formation.
The roots grow up to 6-feet into the ground, which is taller than the grass stems of the plant above ground level. Vetiver grass grows to an average height between four to five feet tall, with long, hairy stems that yield brown-purple flowers.
The roots of the shrub are sought-after by the medicinal and herbal supplement manufacturers for their therapeutic properties. Manufacturers turn the plant into essential oil for sale on the global marketplace. Farmers harvest the grass and pull out all of the roots, sending them to the medicinal manufacturers, and then they sell the stems to other farms as mulch to lay as crop cover to prevent water loss through evaporation.