Chrysopogon zizanioides

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Robert
  • Chrysopogon is derived from chrysos means gold and pogon which means beard; zizanioides means resembling zizania or the Greek zizanion which, with the ancients, was a weed in cornfields.

  • Synonyms : Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash
  • Common Name : Khus-khus, Khus ghas, Valo
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Chrysopogon zizanioides Plant :

  • Habit : An erectherb.
  • Stem : Stems 60-150 cm high, in large, dense tufts with stout spongy aromatic root, sparingly branched.
  • Leaves : Subbifarious, narrow, acute, erect, keeled, glabrous, margins scabrid, sheaths equitant, glabrous, ligule obscure.
  • Inflorescence :
    • Panicle10-30 cm, conical, erect, rachis stout and erectopatent filiform flexuous branches glabrous or scaberulous.
    • Spikes slender joints and pedicels about as the sessile spikelets.
    • Sessile spikelets grey green yellow or purplish, slightly curved, glabrous, callus obscurely bearded; glume first coriaceous, acute, 2-4 nerved, glume second coriaceous, 1-nerved, margins hyaline, keel muricate; third glume lanceolate, acuminate, 2-nerved, margins inflexed ciliolate; glume fourth as glume third, ciliate; palea very small, obtuse, glabrous.
    • Pedicellated spikelets like the sessile but first glume smooth, glume fourth awnless.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : October
  • Significance :                                
    • The roots are aromatic and yield an important essential oil for perfumery industry.
    • Also woven into screens and tatties to be hung over doors or set in windows in hot weather, when sprinkled with water, they cool and perfume the air.
    • An infusion of the root is given as a febrifuge, and a powder in bilious complaints. 
    • It is regarded as stimulant, sudorific, stomachic and refrigerant.