Hierochloe alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Roem. & Schult.
alpine sweetgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Hierochloe alpina
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Species Information

Perennial, tufted grass from short rhizomes; stems erect, hollow, smooth, 15-40 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades 1-3 mm wide, in-rolled or flat, smooth on the lower surfaces, hairy on the upper surfaces; ligules consisting of 1/2 basal membrane and 1/2 terminal fringe of hairs, about 0.6 mm long.
Inflorescence a contracted panicle, 1.5-4.5 (5.5) cm long; spikelets 3-flowered, including 2 sterile or male lower florets, tawny, short-stalked, 5-8 mm long; glumes about equal to the lemmas; lower 2 lemmas hairy, awned, the awns arising from fairly deeply bidentate tips, the awns of the lower sterile lemmas straight, 2-4 mm long, the awns of the upper sterile lemmas about 4-8 mm long, twisted, abruptly bent, arising at about midlength or below, the fertile lemmas hairy towards the tips, unawned; anthers about 1.2 mm long; lodicules narrowly egg-shaped to lanceolate, slightly jagged and lobed.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry meadows and rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; common in N BC, rare S in the Coast Mountains to 52 degrees 45' N; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB, disjunct to ON, PQ and NF and S to ME, NH and NY; Greenland, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Hierochlod alpina subsp. alpina
Hierochloe alpina subsp. alpina
Hierochloe odorata (L.) P. Beauv.
Savastana alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Scribn.