Poa pratensis

Scientific Name Poa pratensis L.
Common Names English: Kentucky bluegrass, bird grass, June grass, smooth-stalked meadow grass, smooth meadow grass; German: Wiesen-Rispengras, Wiesenrispe; French: Pâturin des prés, pâturin commun; Spanish: Poa de los prados, pasto azul
Description Perennial grass, 20 - 80 cm (7.87 - 31.49 inch) tall.


Characteristic Features

Dense, creeping subterraneous rhizomes, panicle oblong or pyramid- shaped.

Young Plant

Quiet dense, erect, early tillering, youngest leaf folded (similiar to Poa trivialis).


Crooked ascendant, slender, wiry, tufted, curving upward.


Sheath slightly compressed, not sharply keeled, split with overlapping margins.
Leaf blade parallel sided, 2-4 mm (0.078 - 0.157 inch) wide, keeled, v-shaped.
Foliage deep green.
Ligule very short.
No auricle.

Propagation Organs


Panicle, 3 -13 cm long, 3 - 8 cm wide (1.18 - 5.12 inch long, 1.18 - 3.15 inch wide) pyramid shaped, open with long branches, branches at the base in clusters of 3-5, borne in spikelets, with 3-5 flowers per spikelet; on short, slender stalks.
Scales pointed at the tip, sometimes silky-hairy on the veins and with a tuft of cobwebby hairs at the base.
Glumes equal.

Flowering Period

May, June.




Germination in spring.

Viability of Seeds

Short living (2 - 6 years).


By rhizomes and seeds.



Kentucky bluegrass is very adaptable. It is found on grassland, pastures, ways and dams.


P. pratensis prefers permeable, loamy and sandy nutrient-rich soils. It cannot grow on heavy soggy soils.

Additional Crop Information

Also in a wide range of other agricultural crops.

Agricultural Importance

P. pratensis is an important and valuable forage crop and pasture grass. It tolerates intensive grazing and belongs to the most important lawn (turf) grasses in the USA. Kentucky bluegrass sometimes becomes a weed in agricultural crops and represents a serious invasive species in the natural tall grass prairie. It is a popular sod-forming grass and a creeper-pioneer plant. The pollen is very allergenic.


Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Prevent seed movement from natural grasslands. Early mowing or grazing reduces abundance in pastures and hay fields.

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