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Anthoxanthum nitens

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About Sweet Grass (Anthoxanthum nitens) Hierochloe odorata or Anthoxanthum nitens, also known as Sweet grass, Holy grass (UK), Bison grass (Poland), Manna grass, Mary' grass, Peace grass, Vanilla grass or Unity grass, is an aromatic herb native to northern Eurasia and North America. It is used in herbal medicine and in the production of distilled beverages (e. g. , ?ubr wka, Wisent). It owes its distinctive sweet scent to the presence of coumarin. In North America Hierochloe odorata occurs in southern Canada, northern Great Plains/Rocky Mountains and northwest of U. S. , and New England. In continental Europe it occurs north from Switzerland. There is only one site in Ireland, and it is recorded in four counties of Scotland. Uses. The plant is harvested by cutting grass in early to late summer at the desired length. Hierochloe odorata harvested after the first frost has little or no scent and is less desirable for basketry. Basketweavers sun-dry cut sweet grass until it is dry and brittle. The brittle form of sweet grass must be soaked in warm water until it becomes pliable. The pliable grass is typically braided into thick threads and then redried for use. European traditions.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
6035' - 6035'

Annual Precip. ?
36.8" - 36.8"

Summer Precip. ?
2.49" - 2.49"

Coldest Month ?
34.4° F - 34.4° F

Hottest Month ?
55.8° F - 55.8° F

Humidity ?
2.46 vpd - 12.83 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Holy Grass, Bison Grass

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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