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Products > Chrysopogon zizanioides 'Sunshine
Chrysopogon zizanioides 'Sunshine - Vetiver

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: India (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Vetiveria zizanioides, Phalaris zizanioides]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Chrysopogon zizanioides 'Sunshine' (Vetiver) - A selection of Vetiver that is an evergreen grass that grows in dense erect clumps to 4 to 5 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide with narrow rigid upwardly-growing leaves that are often bent downwards at a steep angle 1 to 2 feet from the tip. The light green leaves flush an attractive bronze color in cooler months. Plant in full sun to light shade. Its adaptability to various situations is phenomenal, with the ability to withstand months submerged yet the strong fibrous roots, which grow as deep as 6 to 12 feet, give this plant incredible drought tolerance and also makes it an excellent plant for soil stabilization on a slope and useful for penetrating and breaking up compacted soils. The shoots arise from underground which also protects new growth so it is more cold tolerant than one would expect for a tropical plant, tolerating temperatures below 20 F and is useful through USDA Zone 9. This subterranean growth point also makes the plant able to survive fire and severe herbivore grazing pressure. This amazing plant also tolerates high levels of nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, and agricultural chemicals and for this reason is used for treating wastewater and rehabilitating polluted sites. In the garden it is useful in the middle or rear of a perennial border, in a large container, as a low screening plant and for slope stabilization. The Sunshine cultivar does not produce viable seed and is not rhizomatous, with clumps expanding by offshoots, so it is not considered invasive and can be easily maintained in place as a edging or even a small hedge. Because the Sunshine cultivar is not invasive it is the clone that the USDA and Natural Resources Conservation Service cite for its noninvasive traits and is the only type recommended by NRCS for use in the Pacific Islands Area. We got our plants from Doug Richardson who tells us he got this cultivar from the USDA in 1998. The name Vetiver is derived from Tamil and reportedly means"root that is dug up" but in western and northern India, it is commonly known as khus or khus-khus. There is a great planting of Vetiver that has stabilized a large slope on the Santa Barbara City College campus near the corner of Loma Alta Drive and Shoreline Drive.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Chrysopogon zizanioides 'Sunshine.