This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This grass grows everywhere in pastures and meadows or in woods. The habit is typically grass-like, erect. The stem is smooth and shining, nearly simple below, rarely rough. The leaves are flat, hairy, the sheaths furrowed, downy, with a hairy mouth. The panicle is oblong, lance-shaped, interrupted at the base or close, downy or softly hairy, with short branches. The glumes are as long as the awns, which are not so long as the flowers. The spikelets are in groups, green, smooth, or hairy; the lowest glumes are egg-shaped, the upper lance-shaped, nearly awned, the next 2 awned, curved, with blunt tips. The flowering glumes are smooth. The smooth fruit is enclosed in the shining flowering glume and palea. The height is 6-18 in. June and July are the months when this grass scents the meadows. It is the foliage that is aromatic. The plant is a herbaceous perennial.
Anthoxanthum puellii, Lec. & Lam. - The habitat of this species is pastures, fields, and waste places. The habit is the same as that of Sweet Vernal Grass, from which it differs in being slender, much-branched, bent at the nodes, with smooth sheaths in the loose panicle narrowed to the top, long slender awn, shorter glumes, the lower 1-2 unequal, rough, membranous, the lower half as long as the long-pointed upper glume, the awned glumes straight. It is 4-8 in. high, and flowers in Juneand July, being a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this grass is meadows, pastures, grassy places. The habit is erect, grasslike. The stem is smooth, the leaves are flat, rough along the border, the sheath smooth, enlarged above, the ligule blunt and large. The cylindrical, blunt, dense panicle is slender, the empty glumes hairy, with keel fringed with hairs, the glumes lance-shaped, with a long point, united below, hairy, the awn twice as long as the smooth flowering glume. The anthers are yellow. The styles are united. The plant is 1-3 ft. in height. It flowers before other grasses in April, up till June. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant, with but slightly-creeping stem.
This plant is found in pastures and by the wayside. The habit is erect, tufted. The stems are smooth and ascending, with short, flat leaves. The leaf-sheaths are parallel with the stem. The ligule is long. The panicle is long, cylindrical, blunt, green. The shortly-stalked spikelets are crowded. The glumes are blunt. The rigid, rough awns are half as long as (or less than) the glumes, which have a stout, hairy, green keel, with pale borders. The flowering glumes are membranous and 5-nerved. The anthers are oblong, purple. There are 3 stamens, long styles, slender and feathery stigmas. The fruit is enclosed in the flowering glume, and flattened at the margin. It is 1-4 ft. in height, and the rough, blunt glumes and short awns distinguish it from Alopecurtts pratensis, with which it is often confused. It is a herbaceous perennial, flowering later than the last in June and July.