BugwoodWiki Article

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum L.

Overview

Appearance
Anthoxanthum odoratum is a perennial or winter annual grass that often produces a noticeable seed head by April or May in many of Virginia's hay fields. Anthoxanthum odoratum gives off a distinctive, sweet-smelling odor when mature.
Foliage
Leaves are rolled in the sheath and may reach 0.4 in. (10 mm) in width.  Upper and lower leaf surfaces, as well as the leaf margins, usually have short hairs.
Flowers
A brownish-yellow spike that is approximately 0.75-2.75 in. (2-7 cm) long and 0.5-0.75 in. (1.3-2 cm) wide.  Each spike contains many spikelets that are approximately 0.25-0.33 in. (6.5-8.5 mm) long.
Fruit
Seedheads develop around April and May and give off a sweet smell.
Ecological Threat
This plant is most commonly a weed of pastures, hay fields, roadsides, and ditch banks that is found throughout the southeastern United States and into Kentucky and West Virginia. It is native to Eurasia.

General Description:

Anthoxanthum odoratum is a sweet-smelling perennial grass with flat blades and spikelike panicles.

The name Anthoxanthum is derived from the Greek, ANTHOS meaning flower and XANTHOS meaning yellow, alluding to the yellow inflorescence.

Diagnostic Characteristics:

Anthoxanthum odoratum can be distinguished from other grass species by its perennial habit and sweet, vanilla scent, especially when dry.

Resources

Selected Images


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5414520

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5414704

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5416623

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5416625

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5414517

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5387119

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Stem(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
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5387118

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Stem(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
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5391887

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Spikelet(s)
John M. Randall
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5387116

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Flower(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
5387117
5387117

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Flower(s)
Joseph M. DiTomaso
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5391886

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Spikelet(s)
John M. Randall
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5414521

sweet vernalgrass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Seed(s)
Forest and Kim Starr

Maps


EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Anthoxanthum

Other System Links

Plants: ANOD
Bayer: AOXOD
GRIN: 3594
ITIS: 41395
NPDN Pest: PCAAIBA

Categories

Category: Grass or Grasslike