Sweetgrass is a perennial grass with a long tradition as a sacred herb among many indiginous peoples of North America. The leaves give off a sweet scent when crushed (hence the name). 

 

The grass has soft stemless leaves that spread via rhizomes to create a lush colony that tops out at about 8". Delicate seedheads appear in the spring and early summer. 

 

This plant requires moist soil but can tolerate light shade. It handles division well, and you will be able to harvest throughout the season from established stands. A word of caution: don't plant this where you regularly need to weed lawn grass (bermuda, kentucky blue etc) as the sprouts from rhizome can look similar, and you may inadvertenly pull your sweetgrass out! When in doubt, pick a few blades and smell them.

 

Good companions for sweetgrass include sneezeweed, nettle-leaf giant hyssop, and streamside daisy. 

sweetgrass

  • Hierochloe oderata