West Highland Flora

Spreading Meadow-grass

Poa humilis

Formerly Poa subcaerulea.  This species has sometimes been included in Poa pratensis.

Poa humilis

Photo Carl Farmer
31 Jul 2005 Portree, Skye
RH inflorescence c 3.8 cm high

Frequent in damp grassland, both lowland and upland.  Roadsides, stream banks, walls.  Often coastal.

Stems c 15-30 cm high.  Spikelets c 4-7 mm long.  Glumes and lemmas c 3-5 mm long.  Ligule 0.5-2 mm long.

ID: Spikelets of typical Poa form (see bottom spikelet in bottom pic, or other Poa pages).  Stems arising singly, not in tufts (or occasionally small tufts) but close together in patches or drifts.  Told from P compressa by: glumes > 3mm long, spikelets 2-4 per flower, not 3-8, panicles triangular not cylindrical.  Told from P pratensis, to which it is closely related, by: most stems single, not all in small (sometimes rather loose) tufts, the smaller glume 3-4.5 mm, not 2-3.5, and lowest panicle branches 2-3 together, not 3-6 (examine several).

Other features: The jizz of this Poa is that its spikelets look rather large and heavy relative to the size of the plant, and the way the stems arise singly, but close together, from the creeping underground rhizome, is very characteristic once known.  Leaf blade has fringe of hairs where joins stem (usually absent in P pratensis and always absent in P compressa)


Poa humilis

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jul 2005 Digg, Skye
Lowest spikelet c 2.5 mm wide

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