Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This grass is easily identified in the field by the vanilla-like fragrance of its stems and leaves, its 3-flowered spikelets about 1/4 inch long, and its hairy lemmas.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, along streams, in bogs.
- Habit: Perennial grass with branching rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, hollow, up to 2 feet tall, without hairs.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, flat, up to 1/4 inch wide, without hairs; ligule up to 1/4 inch long, more or less fringed.
- Flowers: Borne in 3-flowered spikelets, the spikelets arranged in a panicle up to 4 inches long; spikelets about 1/4 inch long, the lower 2 flowers male only, the upper flower with
both stamens and pistils; lemmas hairy.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Small, ovoid, smooth.
- Notes: This species is also known as sweetgrass or vanilla grass because of the fragrance of its stems and leaves. There is a report of this species from California.
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