Vetiveria Bory, Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris. 1822: 43. 1822.
Perennials; culms stout, compressed, glabrous, very hard, the lower part with a peripheral ring of air-channels, and the pith often with irregular cavities. Leaf-sheaths keeled, glabrous, glossy within; ligule very short, upper part consisting of hair-like slips; blades linear, not narrowed at base, apex acute, margins scabrid, otherwise glabrous, thick, conspicuously pale above, tough. Inflorescence a branched panicle, composed of peduncled, many jointed spike-like racemes with articulate rachis; main branches simple, or the lower with few branchlets. Spikelets in pairs, dimorphic, dorsiventrally arranged, one pedicelled, one sessile. Sessile spikelet with lower glume firm, as long as spikelet, apex narrowed, convex, with incurved margins, beset with numerous upwardly directedor upwardly curved, firm, mostly tubercle-based, spiny bristles, 7-nerved; upper glume as long as spikelet, boat-shaped, narrowed at apex, margins membranous,the back firm, beset with bristles, 3-nerved, muticuous or shortly awned; lower lemma as long or slightly shorter, thin membranous, 2-nerved; lower palea wanting; upper lemma shorter, thin membranous, 1-nerved, entire and muticous, or 2-lobed and awned from sinus; upper palea much shorter, nerveless; lodicules 2, cuneate, glabrous; stamens 3, the anther linear; styles 2, free. Pedicelled spikelet resembling the sessile spikelet but muticous and glumes thinner and less spiny.
About ten species distributed in tropical Africa, Asia and Australia.
One introduced species, V. zizanioides is cultivated on sand-dunes to prevent erosion.