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Anthoxanthum odoratum, known as sweet vernal grass, is a short-lived perennial grass that is native to acidic grassland in Eurasia and northern Africa. It is grown as a lawn grass and a house plant, due to its sweet scent, and can also be found on unimproved pastures and meadows. The specific epithet odoratum is Latin for 'odorous'.
Anthoxanthum odaoratum grass grows in tufts with stems 25–40 cm (9.8–15.7 in) tall, and short, broad green leaves 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) wide, which are slightly hairy. It flowers from April until June, i.e. quite early in the season, with flower spikes of 4–6 centimetres (1.6–2.4 in) long and crowded spikelets of 6–10 mm (0.24–0.39 in), oblong shaped, which can be quite dark when young. The lower lemmas have projecting awns. The ligules are quite long, up to 5 mm (0.20 in), blunt, with hairy fringes around the side.
It is grown by scattering seed on tilled ground in the spring through fall, germinating in 4 to 5 days. It prefers sandy loam and acidic conditions (a low pH). As an agricultural grass it has a low yield, but can grow on land too acidic for other grasses.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article "Vernal Grass".|