Fragrant bison – Hierochloe odorata W a h l b. The Ukrainian name is chapoloch fragrant, popular names are chapol, chapula.
The grass family is Roaseae (Gramineae).
The herb is used for medicinal purposes.
It is found in Ukraine only in forest areas. It grows in meadows, forest edges and clearings, forest clearings, along roadsides and in forest plantations. Forms small thickets in places. Preparations are possible in Polissya (Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv regions).
Stocks of raw materials are small. Several centners of grass can be harvested annually.
Fragrant bison is a perennial herbaceous plant with a horizontal, creeping, branched rhizome 1–1.5 m long and thin vertical roots at the nodes. Stems erect, 30-150 cm high, glabrous, smooth. Basal leaves are linear, pointed, up to 60 cm long and up to 3 cm wide, stem leaves are linear-lanceolate, shortened (1-3 cm long). Flowers three in spikelets, collected in elongated-ovate panicles with horizontally deflected branches. Spikelet scales are golden yellow. The fruits are grains. Blooms in May. The fruits ripen in June, after seeding, the stems die off.
Two more types of bison grow in Ukraine – southern and steppe. The first species is rare, found in the Forest-Steppe in Volyn and in the western forest regions, and the second is widespread almost throughout Ukraine, but more often in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe on the sands of the second river terraces, less often on dry treeless slopes of gullies and river valleys. Stocks of raw materials of this type are large and blanks can reach many tens of tons. Industrial preparations of bison grass of these three types are produced in Vinnitsa, Cherkasy, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Donetsk and Voroshilovgrad regions.
The average annual harvesting of bison grass in the republic for three years (1974-1976) amounted to 140.9 tons.
Grass is harvested after flowering (May-June), cutting leaves and barren shoots with sickles or knives above the basal brown scaly leaves. Panicles are thrown away.
Tied in small bundles or spread out in a layer of 2-3 cm, the grass is dried under sheds or in attics with good ventilation. The yield of dry raw materials is 50%.
According to OST NKVT 5521/4, the raw material consists of stems connected in bundles 3–5 cm thick with leaves and partly panicles 40–60 cm long. The leaves are light or gray-green, the stems are dark green. The smell is strong, coumarin. The taste is a little tart. Humidity is not higher than 13%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: plants with unseparated rhizomes and scaly basal leaves and panicles – 5, crushed and broken leaves (less than 5 cm in length) – 3, organic impurities – 2, mineral – 0.5.
Dry grass is packed in bales of 50 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on racks or storage boxes. Storage period up to 2 years.
The herb contains coumarin and alkaloids.
Used as an appetizing and gastric remedy. Widely used in the alcoholic beverage industry.