Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata)

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Sweetgrass is a very fragrant medicinal herb, sought after for it's pleasantly warm and sweet aroma.  Despite being quite rare and hard to find, Sweetgrass is extremely easy to grow!  It can be planted in the ground or in containers.  It spreads through underground rhizomes and can be harvested once or twice a year. It has a very extensive root system, and although it can expand from a single plant to a thick square foot of grass in six months, it is shallow-rooted and grows well with other grasses and shrubs. 

Sweetgrass has a long lasting fragrance.  Dried leaves are sturdy and can be used to make baskets and natural beauty products (creams, lotions, perfumes, etc...), although it was traditionally used ceremonially in prayer, smudging, and purifying ceremonies.  The scent is stronger when moistened or burned. As the grass dries the fragrance intensifies. When burned it does not produce an open flame but smolders (great for smudging!). It was regarded as a sacred plant by the Native Americans. Just as the sweet scent is attractive to people, it is also attractive to good spirits.  Native Americans often burned the grass at the beginning of a prayer or to attract positive energies.

Plant Type
Perennial Herb

Harvest Season

Mature Size
Up to 3 ft. tall

Spreads about 3 ft. per year by underground rhizomes

Soil & Moisture
Rich, moist, well-draining soil

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile

Growth Rate
Medium

Zone Hardiness

Outdoors Perennial in 8-10, Annual in 4-7; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation

How to Grow Sweetgrass

Plant Type: Perennial Herb

Mature Size: 1-3 ft. in height and spreading about 2-3 ft. per year by underground rhizomes

Soil & Moisture: Rich, moist, well-draining soil. 

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: Zones 4-7, cool season Annual or Perennial Zones 8-10.

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