Anthoxanthum odoratum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeAnthoxanthumAnthoxanthum odoratum


A short-lived perennial herb which occurs in a wide variety of grassland habitats, including old pastures and meadows, hill grassland, heaths, the drier parts of mires and on sand dunes. It is most frequent on acidic soils, and avoids drought-prone or waterlogged sites. Reproduction is by seed. 0-1030 m (Cairngorms).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Wide-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Wide-temperate.

© S. Hammonds

Broad Habitats

Neutral grassland (includes coarse Arrhenatherum grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1106

Life form information

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2782

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 965

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.9

Weighted Changed Factor: -48

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (403c)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Wu L, Jain S
1980.  Self-fertility and seed set in natural populations of Anthoxanthum odoratum L.. Botanical Gazette. 141:300-304.