Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver grass) as a potential plant for landslide bioengineering at Atok, Benguet, Philippines

Kryssa D. Balangcod A B , Freda M. Wong A and Teodora D. Balangcod A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Biology, College of Science, University of the Philippines Baguio, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City 2600, Philippines.

B Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Botany 63(4) 216-221
Submitted: 15 October 2014  Accepted: 18 May 2015   Published: 19 June 2015


Chrysopogon zizanioides, more commonly known as vetiver grass, is being used extensively for bioengineering in several countries, to stabilise soil. This species has a fast growth rate and can hold soil through its ability to grow on steep slopes. The use of vetiver grass for bioengineering has not yet been explored in the northern Philippines, an area prone to landslides owing to steep slopes, exacerbated by an intense rain fall regime and typhoons. The aim of this study was to validate the use of vetiver grass for stabilisation of an experimental landslide area in Atok, Benguet, northern Philippines, and to monitor its growth performance under nursery conditions. A nursery has been established in Atok for the propagation of vetiver grass and other plant species, with potential for use in stabilising landslides. Three sample plots were chosen randomly. The number of new shoots and shoot length were measured every month from planting. The results show that during the early stages of growth, vetiver grass was able to develop new shoots. The longest shoot increment measured in the nursery was 65 cm and the average number of new shoots was three per pot. During the rain season, the vetiver grass was transplanted to the experimental site. The transplanted vetiver plants were monitored there and, after 2 months, the plants had shown growth and were able to produce more and longer shoots. To assess the capability of the roots to stabilise the soil, a force gauge was used on three vetiver plants and other revegetation species, to measure how strongly the roots can hold soil. The results showed that vetiver grass has a strong soil-aggregation capacity and that the roots were able to establish in the landslide within 2 months.

Additional keywords: grasses, mitigation, slope stabilisation, soil stabilisation.


Condon RW (1993) ‘Vetiver grass: a thin green line against erosion.’ (National Academy Press: Washington, DC)

Dalton PA, Smith RJ, Truong PNV (1996) Vetiver grass hedges for erosion control on a cropped flood plain: hedge hydraulics. Agricultural Water Management 31, 91–104.
Vetiver grass hedges for erosion control on a cropped flood plain: hedge hydraulics.CrossRef |

Herath S, Wang Y (2009) Case studies and national experiences. In ‘Landslides: disaster risk reduction’. (Eds K Sassa, P Canuti) pp. 475–497. (Springer Verlag: Berlin)

Islam MP, Bhuiyan KH, Hossain MZ (2008) Vetiver grass a potential source for rural development in Bangladesh. Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Invited Overview 5, 1–18.

Kjekstad O, Highland L (2009) Economic and social impacts of landslides. In ‘Landslides: disaster risk reduction’. (Eds K Sassa, P Canuti) pp. 573–587. (Springer Verlag: Berlin)

Leaungvutiviroj C, Piriyaprin S, Limtong P, Sasaki K (2010) Relationships between soil microorganisms and nutrient contents of Vetiveriazizanioides (L.) Nash and Vetiverianemoralis (A.) Camus in some problem soils from Thailand. Applied Soil Ecology 46, 95–102.
Relationships between soil microorganisms and nutrient contents of Vetiveriazizanioides (L.) Nash and Vetiverianemoralis (A.) Camus in some problem soils from Thailand.CrossRef |

Malamud BD, Turcotte DL, Guzzetti F, Reichenbach P (2004) Landslides, earthquakes and erosions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 229, 45–59.
Landslides, earthquakes and erosions.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXhtVKqtLzP&md5=23d6b73d2d8b31272561d582c536c0fbCAS |

Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research (1980) ‘Standard Method of Analysis for Soil, Plant Tissue, Water and Fertilizer.’ (Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research, Farm Resources and Systems Research Division: Los Baños, Laguna)

Suleiman MK, Bhat NR, Jacob S (2013) Vetiver zizanioides plantation for slope stabilization in Kuwait: a case study. Journal of Agriculture and Biodiversity Research 2, 44–54.

Truong PNV, Baker D (1998) ‘Vetiver grass system for environmental protection.’ Technical Bulletin No. 1. (Pecific Rim Vetiver Network: Bangkok, Thailand) Available at [Verified 1 May 2015]

Truong PNV, Loch R (2004) Vetiver system for erosion and sediment control. Paper no. 247. In ‘13th international Soil Conservation Organisation conference’, Brisbane. (Eds SR Raine, NW Menzies, AJW Biggs, DM Freebairn, PE Tolmie) pp. 1–6. (Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated: Warragul, Vic. Australia)

Truong PNV, Scattini W (1990) Vetiver: the hedge against erosion. Australian Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 3, 16–18.

West L, Sterling G, Truong PNV (1996) Resistance of vetiver grass to infection by root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). The Vetiver Network Newsletter 20, 36

Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation