Native to India, vetiver is taking root in a growing number of tropical countries, where it is used as an engineering tool to solve problems from soil erosion to pollution cleanup.
Key to the plant's performance: It grows a thick and seemingly impenetrable tangle of roots that plunge 13 feet (4 meters) straight into the ground. The roots essentially form a wall of steel that prevents erosion-prone slopes from slipping away.
Vetiver is not only cheap to grow but resistant to pests and disease. The grass soaks up pollutants and improves crop yields. What's more, it can grow in any kind of soil on any kind of slope in just about any tropical region that is free of freezing temperatures.
Okay, I've read a number of articles about kudzu. Am I the only person who thinks this sounds like a potential Big Mistake.
[ Yeah, sounds to me like it's about the same. In 20 years they'll be driving around with trucks of herbicide, desperately trying to kill this crap, just like they do with the kudzu here in GA. I swear, there are whole sections of woods whose visible face is a solid wall of kudzu, all the way to the tree tops. -k]
Grass Grows 13-Foot Roots of 'Steel'