Anthoxanthum odoratum - Sweet Vernal
Grass, Vanilla Grass
Sweet vernal grass is grown for the sweet scent in its
leaves and flowers. It is easy to grow and will self-sow
freely to fill in an area by the end of the first season.
One customer planted a large area on a bank below a deck
and each spring through early summer the breeze off the
ocean fills the landscape with a sweet scent.
The origin of this pretty grass is Eurasia and it is grown
in many parts of North America.
Some people add a few flowers to their tea!
Description: clump forming; cool season;
evergreen in mild climates
Foliage - medium width, green; 30 cm (12") tall
Flowers - May to June; 35 cm (14"); sweetly scented
Ideal growing conditions: full sun to
part shade; average to poor soil; drought tolerant once
established; very adaptable but prefers acid soil
Coldest zone: 4-9 (find
your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Season of interest: spring through fall
Allium sinensis ssp montanum, Pycanthemum
muticum, Carex caryophyllea
Recommended spacing between plants: 40-75
cm (16-30") why such a difference?
Drought tolerance rating: 4 (water to
root depth when soil starts to dry); further
Native to: Eurasia, but is found growing
in the wild in much of North America
Pronunciation: Anthoxanthum (an-thoh-zan-thum)
Sizes available: flat of 25 plugs
More ornamental grasses
Compare Anthoxanthum ordoratum to our other grasses
in this handy chart.