Fragrant annual or perennial grasses, with flat leaf-blades and spike-like panicles. Spike-lets 1-flo\vered, narrow, somewhat compressed. Scales 5; the two outer acute or produced into a short awn, the first shorter than the second; third and fourth scales much shorter, 2-lobed, awned on the back; the fifth scale shorter than the others, obtuse. Stamens 2. Styles distinct. Stigmas elongated, plumose. Grain free, enclosed in the scales. [Greek, referring to the yellow hue of the spikelets in some species.]

A genus of 4 or 5 species, natives of Europe. Type species: Anthoxanthum odoratum L.

Perennial; third and fourth scales pubescent nearly to the apex, the awn of the latter arising

about one-fifth above the base.


A. odoratum.

Annual; third and fourth scales pubescent only below the middle, the awn of the latter arising

about one-third above the base.


A. Puelii.

1. Anthoxanthum Odoratum L. Sweet Vernal-Grass

Fig. 406

Anthoxanthum odoratum L. Sp. PI. 28. 1753.

Culms 1°-2° tall, erect, simple or branched, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths shorter than the internodes; ligule 1"-2" long, acute, membranous; blades 1/2'-6' long, 1"-3" wide, glabrous or nearly so; spike-like panicles I'-2 1/2' long, branches short, erect or ascending; spikelets 4' long, crowded; outer, scales acute, glabrous or pubescent, the first 1-nerved, half as long as the second which is 3-nerved; the third and fourth very hairy, the former with an awn longer than itself inserted about the middle, the fourth scale bearing near the base an awn more than twice its length; fifth scale about two-thirds as long as the fourth, obtuse or rounded at the apex, and bearing a fertile flower.

In fields and meadows throughout nearly the whole of North America. Very fragrant in drying. Naturalized from Europe. Spring- or Prim-grass. June-July.

1 Anthoxanthum Odoratum L Sweet Vernal Grass 4061 Anthoxanthum Odoratum L Sweet Vernal Grass 407

2. Anthoxanthum Puelii Lecoq & Lamotte. Long-Awned Vernal-Grass

Fig. 407

A. Puelii Lecoq & Lamotte, Cat. PI. Auver. 385. 1848.

Culms up to 1 tall, slender, often branching above the base, leaves smooth and glabrous; sheaths shining; ligule scarious, obtuse, about 1" long; blades flat, up to 4' long and 2" wide; panicle 1/2'- 1 1/2' long, spike-like; spikelets, exclusive of the awns, about 3" long, the first scale about one-half as long as the second, the third and fourth scales about 1 1/2" long, pubescent below the middle, the former with an awn twice as long as itself, the fourth bearing an awn 2 1/2-4 times as long as itself.

Sparingly introduced, or escaped from cultivation in waste places, New England to Ontario and Pennsylvania. A native of Europe. May to August.