Fragrant Zubrovka

Common name: odorous bison.

Fragrant bison [Hierochloe odorata (L.) Wahlb]Perennial herbaceous plant of the grass family (Poaceae), with creeping, longish rhizome and erect, ascending stems reaching 70 cm in height. Stem leaves are shortened, leaves of barren shoots are green below, glabrous, gray-green above, with scattered hairs. The flowers are collected in spikelets, which form an oblong-oval panicle. Spikelets numerous, collected during flowering in a spreading panicle, golden yellow, shiny, round-ovate, three-flowered; the upper one is bisexual, with two stamens, the other two are staminate, with three stamens each. The fruit is an oblong, dark brown grain. Blossoms in May-June, fruits ripen in August. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively. Grows on dry and fresh sandy soils in pine forests, along forest clearings, edges, along roads and clearings,


Medicinal raw material is fragrant bison herb, which is harvested during the flowering period, when it has the highest content of coumarin. In addition to the flowering period, the grass can be cut again, after it grows back, however, in this case it contains less coumarin. Dry under a canopy or in a well-ventilated area. The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years.


The plant enhances the functions of digestion, stimulates appetite. Application in medicine. Aboveground part. In folk medicine, infusion – to stimulate appetite and enhance the function of the digestive system.


♦ Infusion of fragrant bison grass: 1 tablespoon of raw materials is poured into 200 ml of boiling water, insisted, then filtered. Take 1 tablespoon 30 minutes before meals. ♦ Due to the presence of the alkaloid dinaxin in the plant, it is poisonous to farm animals in large quantities.


It is widely used in the alcoholic beverage industry for the production of Zubrovka aromatic tincture and in the confectionery industry for the production of food essences. It is used as a spicy-flavoring seasoning for fish products. The plant is recommended to be used to strengthen railway embankments and ravine slopes. Due to the presence of coumarin in bison, it is eaten poorly, but a small admixture to hay improves appetite and increases milk yield in cows.


Fragrant bison can be cultivated practically after any predecessors. The soil for sowing or planting is thoroughly cleaned from the rhizomes of the couch grass and, if organic fertilizers were not applied under the predecessor, then 15-20 g of ammonium nitrate, 20-25 g of superphosphate, 10-15 g of potassium salt per 1 m 2 are added to the prepared soil. Sowing of seeds is carried out immediately after their collection or before winter. They are planted in holes to a depth of 1.5-2.0 cm. The distance between rows is 30-40 cm. Seedlings are found in May – June. Reproduction is carried out by dividing rhizomes or root layers. In early spring, shortly before planting, cuttings are cut so that each has 3-4 growth buds or without them, if there are rooted buds. They are laid in a prepared hole at a distance of 20-30 cm from each other, watered and covered with earth. After the emergence of shoots and the germination of rhizomes and root processes, the site is thoroughly loosened and the plants are weeded. Subsequent loosening is carried out carefully so as not to damage the rapidly emerging root shoots, which are traditionally placed close to the ground plane.

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