Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Chrysopogon zizanioides
(L.) Roberty, Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Fertile plants: High risk, score: 9 (Go to the risk assessment)
'Sunshine' cultivar: Low risk, score: -8 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Andropogon zizanioides (L.) Urb.; Phalaris zizanioides L.; Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash

Common name(s): [more details]

Bikol: móra, rimóras

Cebuano: amóora, giron, móra, móras, rimódas, tres-móras

Chinese: xiang gen cao

English: cuscus grass, khus-khus, vetiver grass

Fijian: mulimuli

French: chiendent odorant, vétiver

Hindi: garara, khas khas

Iloko: amóras

Maori (Cook Islands): a‘i, mauku a‘i

Pampangan: anías de móras, ílib

Spanish: raíz de móras, zacate violeta

Tagalog: móras, móro

Tongan: ahi siaina

Habit:  grass

Description: 


Note:  This listing applies to fertile varieties of vetiver grass, Chrysopogon zizinoides.  Fertile varieties should not be planted as they may produce seed and are potentially invasive.  Only sterile cultivars such as 'Sunshine' (USA) or 'Monto' (Australia) should be used for plantings on Pacific islands.

The listings below do not differentiate between plantings of sterile cultivars or fertile varieties unless specified in the literature.


"Perennial, the culms stout, up to 3 m high; leaf blades narrow, glabrous, 30-90 cm long, 5-12 mm broad, tapering at length to a fine point, the margins scabrous; panicle usually contracted, 22-37 cm long, the branches whorled, fragile, jointed, ascending, appressed, 5-7.5 cm long; spikelets paired, about 4 mm long, similar, one sessile, one stalked, falling entire at maturity, 2-flowered, the upper floret of sessile spikelet alone perfect, the others either female or sterile, the glumes with minute, prickly, wart-like projections, the glume of stalked spikelet almost smooth"  (Smith, 1979; p. 377).

Description from GrassBase.

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "cultivated in gardens but is also escaped and naturalized, occurring along roadsides and contour lines. ...it may be considered a roadside weed" (Smith, 1979; p. 377). In New Caledonia, "largement dispersé à présent, surtout en bords de routes" (MacKee, 1994; p. 63).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Southeastern Asia to tropical Africa" (Smith, 1979; p. 377).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 353)
Taxon name on voucher: Vetiveria zizanioides
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Matuku Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 377)
Voucher cited: Tothill
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 377)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 228, DA 8206, DA 8273, DA 8565, Degener 15013, DA 7984, DA 7874, DA 7466, DA 452, DA 2502, DA 6087,, DA 7485, DA 7542
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 41417)
Taxon name on voucher: Chrysopogon zizanioides L.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2004) (voucher ID: PTBG 44725)
Taxon name on voucher: Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Nash
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 41280)
Taxon name on voucher: Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Nash
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 348)
Vouchers cited: Moore 528, Grant 5364
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
As Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 63)
Voucher cited: Le Rat 230
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group) introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 63)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
cultivated
Henty, E. E. (1969) (p. 190)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1925) (p. 49)
As Andropogon zizanioides (Linn.) Urban. Planted about rice-paddy banks, often abundant.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Western Samoa Islands   Whistler, W. A. (2004)
(1) Vai'e'e penisula, in sandy beach area, August 1991; (2) next to a house at Lona, Fagaloa, August 1972.
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 53-54)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15728
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 53-54)
"Occasional throughout Tonga"
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 53-54)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15660
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 53-54)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15216
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (p. 28)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Commonly cultivated. Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Yunnan.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 193)
As Vetiveria zizanoides Nash
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 26)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Commonly cultivated.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Frégate Island   Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. (1983) (p. 58)
Voucher cited: Robertson 2734
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Louisiana

Additional information:
Additional online information about Chrysopogon zizanioides is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Chrysopogon zizanioides as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Chrysopogon zizanioides may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesica 20:1-126.

Henty, E. E. 1969. A manual of the grasses of New Guinea. Department of Forests, Division of Botany, Botany Bull. No. 1. Lae, New Guinea. 215 pp.

Kato, Hidetoshi. 2007. Herbarium records of Makino Herbarium, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Personal communication.

Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. 2013. Flora of the Marquesas Islands. National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Online database.

MacKee, H. S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 164 p.

Merrill, Elmer D. 1925. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol. 1 [reprint]. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 463 pp.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2007. Rapport de mission sur l'Ile d'Uvea (Wallis & Futuna) du 6 au 17 Novembre 2007: Inventaire preliminaire de la flore vasculaire secondaire [unpublished report]. Délégation à la Recherche, Ministère de l'Education, l'Enseignement Supérieur et la Recherche, B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 39 pp.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2002. Voucher specimen #PTBG353(Tim Flynn 7020).

Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. 1983. Vegetation of Frégate Island, Seychelles. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Smith, Albert C. 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 1. 494 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. 420 pp.

Whistler, W. A. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Cook Islands: The plants, their Maori names, and their uses. Allertonia 5(4):347-424.

Whistler, W. A. 1991. The ethnobotany of Tonga: The plants, their Tongan names, and their uses. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Botany 2. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 155 pp. ISBN 0-930897-57-9.

Whistler, W. A. 2004. Communications to Pacific Pestnet listserver 23 Feb. 2004.

Yuncker, T. G. 1959. Plants of Tonga. Bishop Museum Bull. 220. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 343 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


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This page was created on 26 FEB 2004 and was last updated on 7 DEC 2009.