Sweet Grass

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Related to Hierochloe odorata: Holy Grass, Seneca Grass

Sweet Grass

 

(Hierochloe), a genus of plants of the family Gramineae. Perennial grasses with creeping rhizomes, they have ovoid spikelets with a bisexual apical flower and two staminate lateral flowers clustered in panicles. There are about 30 species in the middle and high latitudes of both hemispheres and in the mountains of the tropics.

There are eight species in the USSR. Hierochloe odorata is very common. It grows in meadows, fields, and brush, sometimes as a weed. It contains the odorous substance coumarin and is used in the preparation of aromatic alcoholic beverages (zubrovka, for instance). H. australis is the favorite food of the bison (zubry) living primarily in the Belovezhskaia Forest (hence its Russian name, zubrovka).