Anthoxanthum odoratum, sweet vernal grass seeds
sweet vernal grass seeds
Anthoxanthum odoratum is also colloquial known as sweet vernal grass. A. odoratum is distributed throughout Europe and Asia. Meanwhile it occurs also in North America, where it is rated as an invasive species.
A. odoratum is perennial and gets 20 to 60 cm high. The long and only 5 mm wide leaves are grayish green. The inflorescence is slightly yellow. The sweet vernal grass flowers between May and June what is quite early compared to other grass species. A. odoratum is pollinated by wind. The sweet vernal grass is not a good food for animals. They do not like the bitter taste of A. odoratum. In addition the sweet vernal grass is too less profit- yielding to be used as food grass. A. odoratum contains cumarines which are toxic for the liver. But those cumarines are also responsible for the extremely pleasant odor of the sweet vernal grass that reminds of fresh hay. Due to that the sweet vernal grass has the Latin name "odoratum" what means "fragrant". The nice smell is the reason why the sweet vernal grass is often part of mixes of seeds of different flowers. A. odoratum gives those colorful mixes the suitable odor bouquet. A. odoratum is also used to fill herb pillows. One can also use it to flavor different drinks. However one should be carefully with that because of the high concentration of cumarines.
A. odoratum needs light to germinate. Due to that the seeds should be only covered slightly with substrate. The germination starts after just 3 to 5 weeks. The seeds can be sown directly outside when it is already warm enough (between 15 and 20°C). If not one can sow it inside and put it outside later in the year. The substrate should not contain too much calcium carbonate.