Sweet Vernal Grass

Sweet Vernal Grass is the earliest grass to flower in a meadow.



Sweet Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum) is a perennial grass which is short and loosely tufted. It has short, broad leaves which have the scent of freshly cut hay with a touch of vanilla in the background which gives the grass the “sweet” in its name. Yellowy/brown, spike-like flower heads are borne in early May. It does not spread vegetatively, so relies solely on reproduction by seed. It grows on a range of unimproved grasslands, such as Meadows, heaths and pastures. Most commonly on damp, neutral to acidic soils, avoiding waterlogged and drought prone sites. Individual plants are not very long lived, requiring good meadow management.