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Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)
Smith, R.W.

Poa pratensis

Poa pratensis L.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: popr

USDA Native Status: L48 (NI), AK (NI), HI (I), PR (I), CAN (NI), GL (N), SPM (I)

This species includes subspecies that are North American natives. However, it also includes subspecies that are not native to North America, e.g. Poa pratensis ssp.pratensis, Kentucky Bluegrass. Non-native taxa are not treated in this database.

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.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
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 , 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
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High


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

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Dakota Skipper
(Hesperia dacotae)

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

Adult 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

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


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

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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: 2022-03-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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