Anthoxanthum nitens (Hierochloe odorata) is now rare in the wild in Manitoba, but is available in native nurseries.
(Prairie Habitats Inc.)
Used by aboriginal people for ceremonies and for making incense; grass spreads easily to form a thick mat of turf.
The whole plant is fragrant (vanilla-like scent from a chemical coumarin). This chemical is also an anti-coagulant (Dodd)
Sweetgrass spreads rapidly via deep creeping rhizomes and is extremely cold hardy. In the Great Lakes region, flowering begins in spring.
Sweetgrass is a useful plant for wetland and riparian restoration and mitigation and spring protection/renovation. Sweetgrass has potential for conservation use for erosion control.
Sweetgrass populations are declining due to harvesting for both personal and commercial use. The species is subject to over-collecting and is sensitive to grazing.
Rodents and small mammals (such as pika) browse on sweetgrass.
This plant has played a big part in Aboriginal Peoples lives. It is used for sacred ceremonies.
It is used also for making baskets, bags and with willow, it is used to make cradleboards.
For centuries, it has been used to make a wash for the body and a conditioner for the hair. A tea was made to assist in women's health problems, particularly after giving birth(halting bleeding). A tea was also used to help fight coughs, colds and infections.
(USDA Plant Database)
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