Kentucky Bluegrass

Ojibway: Ozhaawashwa-mashkosiwan
Latin: Poa pratensis L.

Common Names

  • Junegrass
  • Speargrass
Description

A densely tufted grass with smooth, erect stems topped by pyramidal clusters of ovoid, green spikelets borne on thread-like, spreading or ascending branches.

Flowers

Tiny, lacking petals; six stamens; two styles. Flowers enclosed in scales; scales grouped into spikelets at the ends of branches, together forming a cluster to 15 cm (6 in.)?long; May to August.

Leaves

Up to 20 cm (8 in.) long and 6 mm (1/6 in.) wide, basal and on lower part of stem.

Height

30-90 cm (1-3 ft) tall.

Habitat

Moist or dry soil, meadows, and fields.

Range

Throughout much of North America.

Discussion

This grass is often cultivated as a lawn or pasture grass. It gives Kentucky the name Bluegrass State. The Bluegrass Region near Lexington is noted for its famous racehorses that graze on the limestone-rich grasses. The many species of Poa are difficult to distinguish from one another. This grass is very dominating at the site, and is out-competing other species, thereby reducing biodiversity.