FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Anthoxanthum odoratum, Sweet Vernal-grass

Anthoxanthum odoratum; the Sweet Vernal-grass has spike-like panicles. Its main characteristic feature though is the odor it emits (rub leaves). It has a strong sweet cumarine smell similar to that of Hily grass ( Hierochloe odorata), but can't be confused when flowering. Quite characteristic too are the long awns on the lemmas. It is a middle-sized grass (40cm tall at ripening).

It is a common grass on Iceland. It grows in many different habitats that are relatively dry.

The Sweet Vernal-grass is a member of the grass family (Poaceae, also known as Gramineae). The Icelandic name of the Sweet Vernal-grass is Ilmreyr.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise


focus on inflorescence
typical appearance
top of culm, note ligule at base of leaf blade
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focus on inflorescence

typical appearance

top of culm, note ligule at base of leaf blade

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