Past Pictures of the Month Gallery

March 2004

Above: VETIVER ZIZANIOIDES (background) compared with VETIVER NEMORALIS (foreground)
Photo Credit: Dr. Pham Hong Duc Phouc - Hio Chi Minh City,Vietnam

Below: VETIVER ZIZANIOIDES (left) compared with VETIVER NIGRITANA (right)
Photo Credit: Dr. Umesh Lavania - Lucknow, India

April 2004

Tran Hai Giang (Can Tho University, Vietnam) Email: [email protected]

May 2004

From Criss Juliard - Mali

Flood plain of vetiver (v. nigritana, called babie or diri) in the region of Timbuktu, Mali, close to the Niger River. Note that that leaves have been eaten by cattle.

Peuplement de vetiver (vetiveria nigritana – babie ou diri) dans une région inondée de Tombouctou près du Fleuve Niger.

JUNE 2004

Jane Thomas - Indonesia

Vetiver root products by De Art Creative Handicrafts shop, Kuta, Bali. Clockwise from top: Roman shades, large hampers, vetiver balls in net bags, hand bags, coasters, boxed placemat gift sets, newspaper hampers, placemats, tassels.from top: Roman shades, large hampers, vetiver balls in net bags, hand bags, coasters, boxed placemat gift sets, newspaper hampers, placemats, tassels.

Detail of weaving vetiver roots. De Art placemat

See complete text by Jane Thomas


From: Chris Juliard -- Bamako -- Mali

This is another true story! We recently had our house fumigated. The chemical (Cyfluthrine) was strong, as we had to vacate the house for four hours, including food and pets.

 After about 4 hours we returned, and our two dogs (Lab and Pointer) sniffed around and felt sick, perhaps licking some indoor plants, but we are not sure. They began to drool and to cough as if short of breath. Their heart was beating hard as well. Their reaction was to go into the garden, where they usually chew new sprouts of wild lawn grass. This time they went for the vetiver patch, and began to eat the leaves. As this was night, I took pictures with a night vision camera, which explains the lack of detail. But I can verify that they chewed on vetiver leaves and soon after their heartbeats slowed, the coughing reduced and their drooling stopped. There is no proof that they knew what they were doing nor that the vetiver had a direct effect, but we have had theses dogs ever since we have had vetiver in our gardens. They have been seen occasionally to sniff and bite off a few fresh leaves. In this instance, they were frantically eating vetiver.


Vetiver root system (two years old) from South China


Machine planting of Vetiver in Australia for creation of an artificial wetland to clean up tannery effluent.

More images on wetland and Darling Downs black soil flood protection

January 2005

These before and after images, courtesy of NASA, demonstrate the enormous power of the tsumani impact on Gleebruk, Indonesia, located some 60 miles from the epi-center of the December 26 earthquake. A 50 ft wave wiped out the prawn ponds, orchards, bridges, houses, and road. It did untold damage to the shore line. Vetiver Systems could not have stopped this damage, but it should be used in the reconstruction effort at this and many other sites around the Indian Ocean rim. Vetiver grass could be used to rehabilitate the area devoided of top soil (in the bottom part of the picture) and above the high tide water line of the beaches. In both instances it would prevent continuing erosion, and as a pioneer plant would allow other plants to establish.

Additionally vetiver could be used to stabilize reconstructed roads, bridge abutments, railroads, and shrimp ponds. It could be a very useful employment generator and could be used by the women for handicraft development.

Vetiver grass and the Vetiver Systems can be found in every one of the 11 countries effected by the tsumanis. The technology is well researched and documented. Hopefully another Tsumani will not occur again for a long time, even so the application of the Vetiver System would help to reduce the extent of tsumani damage, and would certainly significantly reduce the often annual damage caused by major storms and cyclones.

An excellent paper on how Vetiver Systems can be used for disaster mitigation by Jim Smyle provides many answers as to when and when it can not be used for such purposes


The Vietnam Highway Department is using Vietnamese Vetiver contractors to stabilize cut and fill slopes of a new highway that follows the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail in Central Vietnam. Here follows some remarkable photos from Paul Truong who just recently (Jan 2005) visited the site


"About a decade ago, as part of Devihalli Tank Watershed Program in Karnataka, India, the Soil Conservation Department planted Vetiver over a vast area. Despite negligence of most of farmers, vetiver still remains in a large areas.
It is the careless ploughing by tractor drivers that acts as a villain for vetiver plants. One interesting point is that in many areas, farmers have 'preserved' vetiver as a fodder. Where soil moisture is available, farmers take at least 3 cuttings each year and feed it to their cattle.
These farmers know the Soil Conservation advantages of vetiver, but unfortunately, the conviction is not very strong in all areas and there is no 'spread effect." Shree Padre, Karnataka India

Fish Pond Stabilization

The pictures below show how vetiver can be used effectively to stabilize the bank of a fish pond in Chong Qing, China. Note how the grass survives well in water, and how it protects the banks from erosion. Photo credits: Liyu Xu

River Bank - Dyke Stabilization
TVN is often asked how to stabilize river banks or dykes using the Vetiver System. The "how to" is shown in the following images.

Above: the bank (a river bank in Queensland, Australia) is graded and vetiver hedgerows are planted on the contour. At the same time hedgerows are planted at approx. 90º to the horizontal rows so as to vertical to the expected water flow in the river.

Above: the mature hedgerows

Above: A mature hedgerow planted on a dyke in Vietnam

Above: Vetiver planted on a dyke in Vietnam. Prior to planting no vegetation would establish. Vetiver not only protected the dyke but also acted as a pioneer species allowing ther plants to become established. Eventually the vetiver will be shaded out. The same phenomena has occured on highway embankments in China

Above: Water buffaloe find vetiver a good forage, and cannot graze mature vetiver "out"

December 2005

Rehabilitation of bauxite mine tailings at the CVG Bauxilum mine located at Pijiguaos, Sate of Bolivar, Venezuela.

The work was carried out under the direction of a Maracay based group called "Informative Organoof Vetiver Antierosion, C.A. email: [email protected]

In order, the images are: before, during and completion. The last image is of the workers who carried out the work. Note the excellent quality of work and the steepness of the slope. The soils are bauxitic clays and rocks, and are highly acidic and contanimated with heavy metals including arsenic that before VS treatment leached to the nearby river.

More details

Congratulations Venezuela!!


The effluent from intensive animal enterprises such as pig and beef production often results in large quantities of polluted water held in various forms of ponds or tanks. It has been found that when vetiver grass is grown on floating pontoons on these ponds that significant reduction in heavy metals, phosphates and nitrates occur, leading to a less polluted area of water.

It should be noted that in many Asian countries village and temple tanks are common to most communities, many of these tanks are heavily polluted and result in large infestations of blue green algae. The water from these tanks are often used for household purposes. At minimum cost, using bamboo pontoons, vetiver could be used to improve the water quality and significantly reduce the blue green algae.

Left - Sewage effluent infested with Blue-Green algae due to high Nitrate (100mg/L) and high Phosphate (10mg/L)
Right - Same effluent after 4 days of treatment with vetiver grass, reducing N level to   6mg/L (94%) and P to 1mg/L (90%)

Pig effluent tank (effluent from 15000 pigs per year) in China.  The result of this study showed that the purification of wastewater from a pig farm by the culture of V. zizanioides was practical. It found that removal percentage of Cu, and Zn by vetiver was the highest, more than 92%, followed by of As and N, up to 60%, and then of P between 59–85%, Pb between 30–71%, and Hg between 13–58%. The purifying effects of Vetiver to heavy metals, N, and P from a pig farm were ranked as Zn > Cu > As > N > P > Pb > Hg. In addition, the Vetiver bamboo float technology can provide a workable method for a large-scaled purification. Therefore, the environmental pollution from pig farms can be further controlled.

The diameter of the bamboo poles are 10 - 12 cm, the length of raft was 150 cm and the width 100 cm.  16 holes per raft, each hole 48 cm2  Note the rafts are tethered to the bank of the pond.

Above: Young plants growing on bamboo raft.

Above: China. A vetiver clump grown from one of the aforementioned rafts.  Note because of the high nutrient content of the waste water effluent vetiver puts down very short roots, but huge growth in the leaves and stems.  See leaf growth below, equivalent to 120 tons DM per ha.

Below: Typical, vetiver root grwoth when vetiver is grown hydropnically

The following pictures show how vetiver has been grown on mudstone in Yunan Province, China. Three images: before, at planting and after.

Past Pictures of the Month

A nice clump of Vetiveria zizanioides in Rabat, Morocco shown off by Samrat Sombatpanit, Acting President of the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation

Vetiver Systems is getting a good reputation for cleaning/drying up waste water disposal. Here is a file (KB 640) from Paul Truong showing images of the effective impact of vetiver on waste water disposal from a site in Queensland, Australia. Note this system can be used virtually anywhere for dealing with small scale domestic waste water disposal at very little cost.

"Vetiver and People"

The following images are of some of the application of the Vetiver System in Venezuela - the venue of the fourth International Vetiver Conference sponsored by the Foundacion Polar, Total Oil Company, and Pepsi Cola Company of Venezuela, and the Chaipattana Foundation of Thailand.

The use of Vetiver Systems in Venezuela initially focussed on its use for handicrafts. This is a mobile shop selling a wide range of vetiver handicrafts. More ...

A simple vetiver leaf drier for handicrafts on Rafael Luque's vetiver farm and nursery. Rafael is President of Vetiver Antiersion, and his work has been previously been shown on "Pictures of the Month" for the work with bauxite mine restoration.
More ....

Vetiver Systems used for watershed protection of an important spring area that supplies springwater to Empresas Polar's mineral water company.

Venezuela suffers from serious land slippage, in this instance vetiver is used to stabilize a new housing construction site.

An experiment at a "Polar" brewary for wastewater treatment

Vetiver hedgerows being used at 1,500 meters to stabilize vegetables on very steep slopes - same below

A happy conference participant from Chile!! Rocio Fonseca is currently testing VS for stabilizing mine tailings at 3000 meters a.s.l, in asscociation with Dr. Paul Truong of Veticon, Australia. More ....

His Majesty the King of Thailand, and TVN's Patron, H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn have done much to encourage the applications of the Vetiver System in China. Here are some photos from NE Thailand showing how VS can be used to conserve soil and reduce the problems of flooding due to the removal of watershed forests. We dedicate this months photos to the Thai people for their reaserch and development of Vetiver Systems over the past 15 years.

Watershed degradation results in flood and loss of human property and lives.

Vetiver System hedgerows protect these hillside terraces.

Vetiver System hedgerows protect these hillside terraces.

Protected land growing high value vegetable crops.

Vetiver leaves are cut for mulch or for handicraft materials.

Vetiver System is a 'green' solution for the production of 'green' farm products.

The Women Weavers of India are growing vetiver for weaving. They have also planted vetiver to protect the banks of the Narmada River. TVNI will pay for some Women Weavers to go to Thailand for handicraft training.

These pictures, from P.Haridas in India, are of beach protection at a holiday resort near Chennai. Note how well the vetiver is also growing under partial shade. Vetiver has been used successfully on a number of occasions in Asia and Africa for this purpose.

June July 2007

Fresh water fish pond at Canto University, Vietnam stabilized with vetiver. The Vetiver also "cleans" the water. Details

Vetiver grass does a great job stabilizing bridge abutments in Queensland, Australia - 3 month vetiver. Details

Vetiver grass does a great job stabilizing bridge abutments in Queensland, Australia- 12 month vetiver. Details

Highway fill stabilization using Vetiver System on a major highway near Nanjing, China. The image at the left shows newly planted vetiver hedgerows, on the right is the same location three years later - note the native trees that have established naturally. There are many Chinese contractors now applying this technology in Ahui Province. This slope is now fully stable. The only maintenance is an annual hedge cut.
Photo credit: Liyu Xu - China Vetiver Network Coordinator

Green-house slope stabilization in Vietnam

Steep slope stabilisation and pollution control on a cut flower farm in Vietnam. A cut flower farm with an extensive collection of shade houses is located on a very steep terrain, with some sites having slope gradient exceed 45 degrees due to limited available lands. After considering several options, Mr. Dinh, the owner, decided to use VS for its effectiveness, low cost and “green” solution. He heard about VS after the Regional Conference in Cantho in January 2006 and came to this conclusion after visiting TVNI website, where he obtained all the necessary information from the well illustrated Picassa file. This photos will demonstrate a very successful outcome using VS for steep slope stabilisation and pollution control. See full report stabilisation and pollution control. See full report.

Sgro-Forestry in Venezuela

Fundacion Danac, Yaracuy State, Venezuela. There are 300 hectares, planted for agroforestry where vetiver is combined to protect the trees, with excellent results. The soil is very poor with a deep hard pan; vetiver had helped to the trees roots to penetrate those natural compacted layer

Congo Highway

Mr. Alain Ndona is a Vetiver Systems specialist in the Congo DRC. He was contracted to stabilize avery large highway batter. The soils are highly leached and fragile. The photo shows vetiver three months after planting. This is an excellent example of how an African entrepreneur can catrry out quality work.




Aida Duplessis of Mali has been working with West African cotton and vetiver (V.nigritana)to develop a whole line of linens – sweet smelling ones! Her company is Africatable, email [email protected], phone : 00 223 668 36 54

Vetiver planted along Congo highway

Vetiver is planted along a highway in the DR Congo. Notice the severe erosion (redish areas). The vetiver system will restore those areas over time, protecting the highway. (Photo Credit: Alain Ndona)
Read More


Vetiver oil farm in India.

A 35 hectare vetiver oil farm in Tamilnadu, India. It is well managed, there is no erosion, and produces non-fertile domesticated vetiver cultivars that could be used as plant material for vetiver applications. NOTE the thickness of the roots. (Photo Credit: Barath Singh)
Read More


Paul Truong visted the Blackberry Mountain Eco-lodge in the hills of Munnar, Kerala - 2000 meters a.s.l. Unaware of the connection between the Indian Vetiver Network and Blackberry Hills Mountain Eco Lodges, he was completely surprised and delighted to discover the extensive and beautiful uses of vetiver
around the lodge and its nature walks. Note the shallow soils and very steep hills. These photos were taken in the dry season (March). More photos on pdf file show the difference between the growth of vetiver grass and African Love Grass (Erogrostis curvula), previously recommende for ersoion control. Read and see more.

Munnar2 Munnar 1


January 2011

Environmental Volunteer, Laurel Sellers, Introduces the Vetiver System in Rural Morocco

Many Vetiver System initiatives are due to young volunteers who are working all over the world and have learned about Vetiver from TVNI website and other sources, and who are intrigued enough to include VS into their work program and training. TVNI recognizes one such volunteer -- Laurel Sellers

Laurel Sellers

Laurel's Vetiver Oil Scented Candles

“After testing vetiver growth in a mountain village above Taza, Morocco, I found that my small nursery had flourished and with it had garnered some attention. I wanted to show people that this plant could be an alternative stabilization option against the strong forces of erosion in this valley village of subsistence farmers. In the process I became fascinated with the many other applications of the plant. It became a hobby of mine to try to weave, condense oil, make rope, try ideas from locals, anything really with this dynamic new material.

While on the website I ran across some information and out of personal intrigue I wanted to see if I could make vetiver oil; then I thought about what I would do with it if I could. The result is pictured here: vetiver oil scented beeswax candles. While experimenting in my kitchen, I have found with a pressure cooker and some other basic materials you can condense small amounts of oil. Later, while using a double boiler I melted the locally obtained beeswax, strained it through some cheesecloth, and added the vetiver oil. I decorated a jar that I had lying around and was quite pleased with how it turned out. Displaying my craft and talking to others has engendered more interest in the plant and how it can be combined with existing revenue streams. Its success lies within how easy the value added material is to come by and that they have participated in the plants growth since its inception in the village”.


June 2011

Coastal protection using VS to stop sediment pollution of reefs

Universities play an important role in developing Vetiver System applications. In this instance Professor Mohammed Golabi of the University of Guam demonstrates how VS can be used for shorelineprotection and restricting sediment flows to coastal reefs. Read more below...

"Pacific News Release Aptil 6th 2011 - Guam - Mohammad Golabi, a soil science professor at the University of Guam, has put his years of research on vetiver grass to practical use in shielding the reefs in Pago Bay from the harmful effects of construction-induced run-off.

One of the major health hazards facing Guam’s reefs is soil erosion resulting in sedimentation and suffocation of the complex organisms that make up a reef system. “Vetiver’s ability to tolerate high stress situations, adapt to a variety of conditions, develop a dense vertical root system, and powerful soil binding characteristics make it an ideal candidate for controlling soil erosion,” says Golabi.

In this pilot project, Golabi in cooperation with the developers planted vetiver grass along a Pago Bay beach area adjacent to a tract of land that had been cleared for a new housing project. Fully developed vetiver seedlings were planted in contour rows along the beach without disturbing the aesthetics of the area. The plants established in a few months, forming a thick hedge that prevents sediment from water-borne erosion from flowing into the ocean.

“It is also expected that these vetiver hedges may even be able to protect the beach area against tidal surge once their root systems are well established. These hedgerows clearly demonstrate that the vetiver grass system is a unique, economical and effective bioengineering technology for protecting coral reefs from further degradation in the Pago Bay area and may be applied to other sites around the island,” says Golabi.

For more information regarding vetiver grass or soil science contact Professor Golabi at 735-2100. Email: [email protected]"

Earlier experiments by Professor Golabi that this project was based on can be found here.