Buffalo grass (Hierochloe odorata), fragrant oats

bison grass (Hierochloe odorata son. Anthoxanthum nitens), which Canadians also call buffalo herb, fragrant oats, fragrant hierochloe, Canadian sweet herb, “buffalo herb” in English or even Zubrivka from the Poles, which will also remind lovers of strong drinks of the famous vodka, a bottle of which contains a stalk of the same herb.

He comes from Poland, where lies one of the last primary forests in Europe, so dear to Francis Halle, or rather Bialowieza Forest: European bison was brought there again in the 1950s, which explains the name of the bison grass.

Buffalo grass is a perennial herbaceous plant, very hardy (-35 ° C), creeping deep rhizomes of which spread like a charlatan. This herb forms an erect clump with green, narrow, linear, evergreen and fragrant leaves.

Around June, light panicles are formed, then the seeds of hermaphrodites appear, which are pollinated by wind. The ears become straw-yellow in summer.

Buffalo grass is fragrant and fragrant, the rustle of leaves gives off a pleasant, sweet smell reminiscent of vanilla, which is especially developed when mowing hay: this is due to coumarin, a natural organic flavoring substance that is easily recognizable by the characteristic smell of the slice. hay.

In phytotherapy, this content of coumarin is valued for its venotonic, vasodilating, anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Vodka from buffalo grass Zubrówka

Buffalo herb is used to flavor drinks, vodka, and its essential oil is used in perfumery and cosmetics. You can also dry the plant to weave it so that it flavors the linen cabinets, just as lavender does.

  • Family: Poaceae
  • Type: evergreen perennial
  • Origin: Poland
  • Green
  • Sowing: yes
  • Slicing: no
  • Landing: spring
  • Flowering: June
  • Height: up to 0.7 m

Ideal soil and exposure for bison grass

Buffalo grass is grown in a sunny or semi-shady environment in soil rich in organic matter, acidic, cool or even moist, reminiscent of the characteristics of swamps or peat bogs.

Date of sowing, division and planting of bison grass

Sowing is possible after stratification or by making them in the fall so that the seeds overwinter in the cold.

Separation by lumps is the easiest method of reproduction, which is practiced in the spring.

Bison are scheduled to land in the spring: expect to expand to 1 m² per foot.

Council for the care and cultivation of bison grass

If buffalo grass grows in the right growing conditions, it does not need care.

In the case of pot culture, it should be watered very regularly, avoiding tap water, which is often too calcareous.

wicker buffalo herb for flavoring linen closets

Diseases, pests and parasites of bison

Powdery mildew is the enemy of the immortal.

Location and favorable combination of bison grass

This is a plant that is grown in a pot or in a slightly humid space of the garden to take advantage of its fragrant properties.

Recommended species and varieties of hierochloe for planting in the garden

Genre Hierochlo takes its name from the Greek hieros for the “saint” and Chloe for “grass” because the plants of the genus have long been used as sacred herbs in churches. There are about 35 species, including bison grass (Hierochloe odorata) is the most famous.

Buffalo grass should not be confused with sweet grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), a grass that also smells of hay, neither with Buffalo Grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) another herb, the name of which is buffalo grass or buffalo grass, identical.

(Photo 1: John Winder – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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