West Highland Flora

Wood Meadow-grass


Poa nemoralis

Taxonomic note: There has been much debate over the boundary between mountain forms of P nemoralis and non-glaucous forms of P glauca.  The form sometimes known as P balfourii is now included in P glauca, not in P nemoralis.  Both P glauca and P nemoralis occur as mountain plants in the area.

Poa nemoralis

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2004 Lealt, Skye
Top spikelet c 4.5 mm long

Uncommon in woods, shady banks, etc, also on mountain rock ledges.

Stems c 40-90 cm long.  Spikelets c 3-7 mm, lemmas c 2.5-4 mm.  Ligule 0.1-0.5 mm.

ID: May not be immediately recognisable as a Poa, as it sometimes has only 1-2 florets per spikelet.  However the awnless lemmas, folded forward from their keeled midrib, all exceeding the glumes, with broad whitish tips, and the branched infloresence with the spikelets at the ends of long bare pedicels, show it to belong to that genus, provided it has dimensions similar to those given above.

Told from other Poa species by the ligule of the uppermost leaf being < 0.5 mm long and cut off square (examine several).  Mountain forms are told from P glauca by the uppermost leaf on each stem arising above the halfway point (in P glauca it arises well down towards the base) (examine several).

Other features: Very variable according to the degree of shade, but generally a Poa with a very loose and open panicle with the spikelets well separated.  Panicle branches 3-6 together in well-grown plants.  Leaves often held almost at right-angles to stem.  The pictures show a plant from a mountain rock ledge; hope to get better pictures soon.

 

Poa nemoralis

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Jul 2004 Lealt, Skye


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