Scientific Name:
Poa pratensis L., Sp. Pl. 67 (1753)
  • = Poa anceps var. γ breviculmis Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 306 (1853)
Vernacular Name(s):
Kentucky bluegrass; Smooth meadow grass

Rather narrow, loose to compact perennial tufts c. 10–50 cm from slender rhizomes with ± soft, bright green to greyish green leaves < culms; branching extravaginal at plant base, sometimes intravaginal above; leaf-blades persistent. Leaf-sheath light green to very light brown, membranous to ± coriaceous, distinctly ribbed, glabrous, or slightly short-scabrid to shortly hairy near ligule. Ligule in lower leaves 0.2–0.5 mm, truncate, often very short-ciliate, and abaxially minutely hairy, in upper leaves 1–2 mm, apically glabrous, entire and rounded. Leaf-blade (1.5)–10–20–(35) cm × (1.5)–2–4 mm, flat or folded, subcoriaceous, glabrous or sparsely finely hairy especially near ligule or only adaxially; margins sparsely scabrid to smooth, sometimes hairy near ligule; midrib scabrid near blunt, curved tip. Culm (5)–20–55 cm, internodes glabrous. Panicle (2)–5–10–(15) cm, ovate to pyramidal, or oblong, erect or nodding, loose and open to somewhat dense and contracted; rachis glabrous, branches in clusters of 3–5, spreading, filiform, flexuous, smooth or finely scabrid with spikelets clustered at tips. Spikelets 4–6 mm, (2)–3–6-flowered, light green or purplish. Glumes ± unequal, acute, membranous, midnerve scabrid; lower 1.5–3 mm, 1–3-nerved, narrow-ovate, upper 2–3.5–(4) mm, 3-nerved, ovate-elliptic. Lemma 2.5–4 mm, 5–(7)-nerved, ovate-oblong, subobtuse to acute, midnerve and marginal nerves thinly to densely hairy in lower ½, midnerve finely scabrid above hairs, internerves glabrous. Palea 2–3 mm, keels finely scabrid, interkeel glabrous. Callus with tuft of long crinkled hairs. Rachilla c. 0.5 mm, glabrous or very minutely sparsely papillose; prolongation twice as long. Lodicules 0.6–0.8 mm. Anthers 1.2–1.7 mm. Caryopsis c. 1.5 × 0.5 mm, tightly enclosed by anthoecium.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]

Edgar, E. 1986: Poa L. in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 24: 425–503.
Hooker, J.D. 1852–1853 ("1853"): The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.