Plant Data Sheet


Species (common name, Latin name)

Sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata


Sweetgrass grows in wet meadows, low prairies, and the edges of sloughs and marshes in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and western and central Montana. It grows from Labrador to Alaska, south to New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, and Arizona (McGregor 1991).

Climate, elevation

Widely scattered from low to high elvations

Local occurrence (where, how common)

Common, northern mid to high elevations, southern low to middle elevations. (Pojar and Mackinnon 1994).

Habitat preferences

Moist meadows, lake-shores, stream banks, streamside areas, forest openings, beaches, upper parts of tidal marshes. (Pojar and Mackinnon 1994)

Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Rhizomatous perennial. (NRCS)

Associated species


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Seed, plugs

Collection restrictions or guidelines


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Seeds only 5% viable

Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)


Recommended seed storage conditions


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Rhizoimatous propagation gives by far the best results

Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Not clay or fine textured. (NCRS)

Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Rhizomatous cutting.

Recommended planting density

13 plants per square foot. (NRCS)

Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Water highly and grow in partial shade, then in full sun. Outdoors only.

Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Can grow to full height (2ft) in 6 months if grown from rhizome cutting.

Sources cited

Pojar and Mackinnon 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver

McGregor, R.L. T.M. Barkley, R.E. Brooks, E.K. Schofield (eds.) 1991. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas. 1402 pp. viewed 06-10-03

Data compiled by (student name and date)

Roger Whalley 06-10-03