Thursday, August 29, 2002

Very Very Vetiver

Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides), native to Thailand, is often planted there to combat soil erosion. According to this article in the Bangkok Post, entrepreneurs in the country have begun to manufacture furniture and other items from the grass, and see its potential as a timber substitute. In the search for the best type of Vetiver grass for every situation, Thailand has also imported many ecotypes of this species from all over Asia, including India and Japan. Since this grass is already known to be weedy, will the foreign ecotypes lead to the development of an invasive species? Vetiver grass is also planted for erosion control in South Africa, and possibly in Mexico as well.

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