Anthoxanthum L.

Greek anthos – flower, xanthos – yellow, referring to the colour of the panicle after flowering.

Tufted or shortly rhizomatous annuals or perennials with a characteristic grassy, slightly perfumed (coumarin) smell. Leaves flat, rolled in bud. Ligule membranous. Inflorescence a condensed panicle. Glumes 2, unequal, awnless, lowermost 1-nerved, uppermost 3-nerved, longer than the florets. Spikelets 5-10 mm long, laterally flattened, 3-flowered, lower ones sterile or male, the uppermost one bisexual and much shorter than the other two. Lemmas hairless, 1-7 nerved. Palea present, awnless, 1-2 nerved, keel-less.

A. aristatum and A. odoratum are significant weed species.


Shoots aromatic (due to the chemical coumarin); inflorescence dense; glumes unequal, shiny.

20 species from tropical and temperate regions. Australia has 2 naturalised species.

Schouten and Veldkamp (1985).

Source: Spencer, R.; Aldous, D.; Stajsic, V.; McGeary, D (2005). Poaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Poaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Anthoxanthum odoratum L.