Anthoxanthum hirtum (Schrank) Y. Schouten & Veldkamp - Northern Sweet Grass


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Anthoxanthum hirtum - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Poaceae


Synonymous with Hierochloe hirta (Schrank) Borbás which was historically often lumped with H. odorata (L.) P. Beauv. which is now recognized separately as Anthoxanthum nitens (Weber) Y. Schouten & Veldkamp.


Moist soil, meadows, shores, bog margins.




Circumboreal, south to NJ, MD, OH, IA, and AZ; considered to be introduced in New England.


Herbaceous perennial, vigorously rhizomatous, the stems produced singly or few together from the elongate rhizomes; inflorescence an open panicle 4-9(-12.5) cm tall, with 8-100 spikelets; glumes subequal in length, (2.5-)3.5-6 mm long; spikelets with 1 bisexual floret and 2 staminate florets each; staminate florets unawned or with short awn-tips to 0.6(-1) mm long; pubescence of lemma of bisexual floret loosely ascending, 0.5-1 mm long, more or less uniformly distributed around the apex of the lemma.


Flowers May and June

Wetland indicator: FACW

Anthoxanthum nitens is similar but has shorter (0.1-0.5 mm long), appressed to appressed-ascending pubescence on the bisexual floret that tends to be concentrated near the keel and rather sparse near the margins.

Anthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Y. Schouten & Veldkamp is circumboreal in arctic and alpine meadows and ranges south to alpine summits of New England and NY; it has shorter rhizomes and appears subcespitose and has staminate florets with awned lemmas (0.6-10.5 mm long), longer glumes (5-8 mm), and moderately compact panicles that are shorter (1-8.5 cm) and with fewer spikelets (mostly 10-20).


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Go Botany: Anthoxanthum key




© Michael Hough 2018