Anthoxanthum odoratum L.
sweet vernalgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ryan Batten     (Photo ID #23763)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Anthoxanthum odoratum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, 30-60 cm tall.
Sheaths open, usually smooth; blades (2) 3-7 mm wide, flat, usually slightly soft-hairy or fringed with soft hairs at least near the base, the hairs 1-2 mm long, with ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases well developed; ligules (1) 2-3 mm long, membranous, the margins minutely fringed with small hairs.
Inflorescence a narrow, congested panicle, 2-9 cm long, tawny; glumes pointed, rough short-hairy, the lower ones 4-5 mm long, 1-nerved, the upper ones 8-10 mm long, 3-nerved; sterile lemmas more or less equal, about 3 mm long, narrow, rounded and shallow-notched at the tips, soft-hairy to stiff-hairy, the first ones awned from the back somewhat above the midlength, the awns about 3 mm long, the second ones awned from well below the midlength, the awns 7-10 mm long, twisted and abruptly bent; fertile lemmas about 2 mm long, firm, smooth, brown; paleas nearly equal to the lemmas; anthers 4-5 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Anthoxanthum odoratum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
254 137 790
Slope Gradient (%)
29 0 84

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

104 19 290
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 0 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(6), CWH(2)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry lawns, fields, waste areas, rock outcrops and meadows in the lowland zone; common on S Vancouver Island, rare N to the Queen Charlotte Islands; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Anthoxanthum odoratum var. puelii (Lecoq & Lamotte) Coss. & Durieu
Anthoxanthum puelii Lecoq & Lamotte