Ontario Grasses website

Sweetgrass
Anthoxanthum hirtum
(formerly Savastana hirta)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum) Other common names: Indian Grass, Smelly Vanilla Grass, Sweet Grass

Other scientific names: Savastana hirta, Anthoxanthum hirta

French names: Hiérochloé odorante 

Family: Grass Family (Poaceae)

Group: Grasses

Distinctive features: Odiferous when crushed. Leaves shiny.

Flowers: Spring;  

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas, Wet Areas;  Generally likes to grow in damp areas, but when planted will do well just about anywhere.

Uses: This is the sacred Sweetgrass that North American Native people use for smudging.

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: not overly common.

Notes: Very odiferous when crushed, or when dried grasses are lit and left to smoulder.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: hirta: rough


Photographs: 47 photographs available, of which 10 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

This photo shows the shiny aspect of the leaves.

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

A nice healthy patch. This is in my backyard.

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

This is a patch of Sweetgrass in late fall (October).

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)

Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum)