Poa Pratensis, is also known by the names smooth meadow-grass, Kentucky bluegrass or common meadow-grass.
Overview of Poa Pratensis
• It is a perennial species of grass.
• It is a herbaceous perennial plant.
• It is a native to:
– North America
– Northern Africa
• Poa pratensis is a pasture plant.
• It is a characteristic plant that grows well in well-drained and fertile soil.
• It is also used for growing lawns of parks and gardens.
• The name Kentucky bluegrass comes from its flower heads as they are blue in color.
• This perennial can grow up to a height of 30–70 cms tall.
• The leaves have edges that are boat-shaped.
• It is linear and narrow.
• They are about 20 cms long and 3–5 mms broad.
• The panicle is conical in shape.
• This panicle is 5–20 cms in length.
• In its basal whorls there are three to five branches.
• The spikelets are oval in shape.
• They are about 3–6 mms in length.
• They have two to five florets.
• The months of flowering are May-July.
There are two ill-defined subspecies:
• Poa pratensis ssp. pratensis – temperate regions
• Poa pratensis ssp. colpodea – Arctic
Wildlife Value of Poa Pratensis
The species which feed on these species are the caterpillars of:
• The Meadow Brown
• Gatekeeper butterflies
• The Common Sun Beetle
• Myrmus miriformis, a grassbug
• Eupelix cuspidata of the leafhopper family
Scientific Classification of Poa Pratensis
• Kingdom : Plantae
• (unranked) : Angiosperms
• (unranked) : Monocots
• (unranked) : Commelinids
• Order : Poales
• Family : Poaceae
• Genus : Poa
• Species : P. pratensis
• Binomial name : Poa pratensis
• This is an incredibly easily grown plant.
• It succeeds in well-drained soils.
• It prefers moderately fertile soil.
• It grows well in a sunny position.
• It can tolerate very acid soils.
• This plant is a very common garden weed.
• It usually does not require cultivation.
• This is an essential food plant for the caterpillars of numerous species of butterfly.
• It is seen growing in close cut lawns.
• The seed drops very readily in the plant and hence is difficult to harvest.
• But this way the seed is spread effortlessly.
• It makes the flower even more difficult to eradicate.
• A lot of the species are very important pasture plants.
• They are used extensively by grazing livestock.
• Many of the Poa species are popular for gardens as well as for landscaping in New Zealand.