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Anthoxanthum occidentale
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California Vanilla Grass
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Anthoxanthum occidentale

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About California Vanilla Grass (Anthoxanthum occidentale) Hierochloe occidentalis is a species of grass known by the common name California sweetgrass. It is a close relative of the more widely known sweet grass. It is native to the west coast of the United States from Washington to California, where it grows in the coniferous forests of the coastal mountain ranges. This is a rhizomatous perennial grass with leaves up to 30 centimeters long and 1.5 wide. The stem reaches a meter in height with an flower cluster of 7 to 10 centimeters. The spikelets grow on short, wavy stalks and each has three florets with long, protruding stamens during flowering.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting

Elevation ?
7' - 3185'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 117.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 3.64"

Coldest Month ?
38.7° F - 50.0° F

Hottest Month ?
57.9° F - 73.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 18.95 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Sweetgrass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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