Scientific NameAnthoxanthum odoratum
Other Common Names:
A perennial grass that grows in an erect or ascending fashion and reach 1 to 2 ft in height.
Leaves are rolled in the sheath and may reach 10 mm in width. Upper and lower leaf surfaces, as well as the leaf margins, usually have short hairs. Leaves are without auricles and have a membranous, sometimes toothed, ligule. Ligules are generally 3-6 mm in length.
A perennial or winter annual grass that often produces a noticeable seedhead by April or May in many of Virginia's hay fields.Sweet vernalgrass gives off a distinctive, sweet-smelling odor when mature. Plants with brownish-yellow spikes and distinctive sweet smell. Additionally, the relatively early appearance of this grass in Virginia helps in its identification.
Flower Seed Head
A brownish-yellow spike that is approximately 3/4 to 2 3/4 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Each spike contains many spikelets that are approximately 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 mm long.
This plant is most commonly a weed of pastures, hay fields, roadsides, and ditch banks that is found throughout the southeastern United States and into Kentucky and West Virginia.
Leaf Hair on Upper Surface
hairs from base to tip
rolled in bud
Mature Leaf Width
less than 5 mm,
6 to 15 mm
flat or oval
more than 3 mm