Where Does Sweet Grass Grow?


Two types of sweetgrass grow in the United States as native plants. One type of sweetgrass grows in the American south, while the other primarily grows in the in cooler regions of the western U.S..

Warm-Season Grass

  • Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes) grows along coastal dunes from North Carolina to Texas. The grass grows in narrow stretches from 150 to 250 feet along the high tide along sand dunes. Sweet grass also thrives on many of South Carolina’s barrier islands. Sometimes sweetgrass grows on well-drained sandy upland areas. The grass is found in brackish marshlands and open maritime forests.

Cooler Regions

  • A second type of sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) grows in cooler regions of North America. The grass grows in moist meadows, along shady, grassy areras and in mountain canyons. You can find the grass growing in many western states as well as in New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.


  • Muhlenbergia filipesis often used to weave baskets in the Deep South, especially near Charleston, South Carolina. Hierochloe odorata, also known as vanilla or holy grass, still gets used for ceremonial burning as an incense by Native American people. The grass also appeals to wildlife who rely on it as a food source.

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