Sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata), also known as vanilla grass, holy grass and buffalo grass, is a native North American grass. Sweet grass grows among other plants in the wild and naturally occurs in wet meadows, low prairies, bogs, marshes and lakeshores. This scented grass gives off a sweet vanilla or fresh hay aroma.
Native Americans found many uses for sweet grass. Tribes located in northeastern North America wove sweet grass stems into baskets. Throughout history, they braided dried stems of sweet grass using them as incense and smudges for religious ceremonies including purification rites. Other tribes stuffed small bags with dried sweet grass and carried them to chase away bad smells. They also used the grass in body and hair washes.