Also Known As
Holy grass, Vanilla grass, wiingashk (Ojibwe)
Known as wiingashk by the Ojibwe. Generally found south of the Ojibwe Ceded Territories, sweetgrass grows on the edges of wet woods and in wet meadows. The long leaves produced later in the summer contain coumarin, a sweet-smelling vanilla-like compound that gives this species its names.
Sweetgrass is a fragrant, rhizomatous, perennial grass that reaches a height of 30 inches. In summer its flowering structures emerge as loose spikes of golden brown "grains."
Did You Know?
Sweetgrass is used in all types of basketry, braided for ornamental pieces, and cut and burned as incense in ceremonies or merely for the pleasurable scent.