Species Detail

Hierochloe odorata L. Beauv.
Sweet grass

Scientific Name:  
Hierochloe odorata L. Beauv.
Common Name:  
Sweet grass
Myaamia Name:  
none contemporary use only
Medicinal, Customs
Harvest Seasons:  
Conifer Shrubland and Forest, Conifer Swamp some deciduous domts.
Liebert Property
Growth Forms:  

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Hierochloe odorata L. Beauv.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
No Reference Specified Customs  It is braided like a mother's hair, representative of mother earth. Is called "the mother's hair" by some traditional peoples.
No Reference Specified Use - Customs/Medicinal  the chief smokes a sick person for healing. "the smoking ceremony we think it kind of purifies us . . . If youre sick or anything the chief will come out and smoke you which we feel like it helps you get well . . .we use to make the smoke is cedar and cedar is a cleanser . . green cedar to get more smoke; we use tobacco; tobacco is a purifier and then we use sage and its for medicinal [purposes] . . . there was some sweetgrass mixed with the combination of sage and tobacco uh and the cedar"
No Reference Specified Use - Medicinal  component of medicine bag. ". . . cedar is like a purification; um; the sweet grass . . . corn all of those have a something; Im not sure what they all are. Its just medicine. Everything you would need to sustain you here or here after; is that little tiny portion; is in that bag"
No Reference Specified Use - Customs  current Nation drum has tobacco and sweetgrass tied all around the Nation drum. Garys personal habit is to tie a sweetgrass turtle to drum. Use of sweetgrass with drum learned from the Ojibway
No Reference Specified Use - Customs  used for smoking; like cedar. ". . thats the only thing she ever used it for; kind of a purifying; just like we used cedar" ". . . it was just loose and shed just tied a string around it. I didnt see any in Oklahoma. She got that whenever she came back here [Indiana]. If they came back here to visit or something why then shed come back with some of that. And she would just . . .set it on the stove sometimes; you know; we had a wood stove and shed put it on the top of that like she did cedar. And I guess it was medicine as far as it purified the air and everything. It made a smoke. Yeah; just like the cedar does"
No Reference Specified Horticultural Info  The sweet grass with the red stem was preferred
Botanical Sources  
Hierochloe odorata L. Beauv.
No sources entered.
Related Sources  
Hierochloe odorata L. Beauv.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
No Reference Specified   Only two plants; wild tobacco and red cedar; were used traditionally as ceremonial plants by the Miami. Contemporary uses of other plants in ceremonies; including white sage Salvia apiana; from western U.S. and sweetgrass Hierochloe odorata have been acquired often from the pan-Indian movement of modern times