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Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) | NPIN

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Poa pratensis

Kentucky bluegrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Native Status:

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

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 race horses that graze on the limestone-rich grasses. The many species of Poa are mostly difficult to distinguish from one another.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Red

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Throughout much of North America.
Native Habitat: Moist or dry soil, meadows, fields.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High


Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Common Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis), Sandhill Skipper (Polites sabuleti).

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Poa pratensis is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Dakota Skipper
(Hesperia dacotae)

Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA
Sandhill Skipper
(Polites sabuleti)

Food Source
Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Garita Skipperling
(Oarisma garita)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Pepper and Salt Skipper
(Amblyscirtes hegon)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Common Roadside-Skipper
(Amblyscirtes vialis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

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Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Poa pratensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Poa pratensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Poa pratensis


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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