|Full Sun to Partial Shade
ℹ Sweetgrass is easily identified by the amazing sweet vanilla-like fragrance of it’s leaves! Plant these where ever you want to experience the delicious aroma in summer! Great in containers or in the landscape. The genus Hierochloe has a long association with holy ceremonies. The name comes from the Greek hieros, meaning sacred, and chloe, meaning grass or holy-grass. In Northern Europe it was placed in front of churches on Saints' days. Throughout North America, indigenous people appreciated sweetgrass for the scent. It was woven into baskets and mats, burned for smudging or worn in a sachet as an insect repellent. The fresh, sweet vanilla scent comes from coumarin, a crystalline substance that was once extracted and used commercially as flavouring. This native species Hierochloe odorata, which grows in moist meadows, streambanks and forest openings from lowland to subalpine zones, is classified as native due to its global distribution, which is circumpolar. It is distributed sparsely in British Columbia east of the Coast-Cascade mountains and rarely grows in abundance at any one location. Sweetgrass occurs at Canal Flats, Nelson, Cranbrook, Flathead River, Peckam's Lake, Kootenay Lake and Graystokes Plateau. Hierochloe odorata is a native perennial that grows to 30-50 cm tall with purple bases and rhizomes. The open flowerhead is pyramid-shaped. Common names for Sweetgrass are Holy Grass, Mary’s Grass, Vanilla Grass & Buffalo Grass Sweetgrass rhizomes and roots form a dense mat beneath the soil surface. Sweetgrass usually grows among other grasses and shrubs but it is seldom found in pure stands. Sweetgrass is traditionally harvested in late June or early July as Sweetgrass harvested after exposure to frost has little sent. Care should be taken to cut Sweetgrass leaves and not to pull the grass up by its roots so it can grow again the next year. Weeding Sweetgrass areas lessens competition from other plants.