West Highland Flora

Smooth Meadow-grass


Poa pratensis

Taxonomic note: Here regarded as separate from P angustifolia and P humilis, which are sometimes included in this species.

Poa pratensis

Photo Carl Farmer
24 May 2003 Portree, Skye

Common on roadsides (where perhaps sometimes sown), grassland, waste ground, preferring dry soils.

Stems c 20-80 cm tall.  Spikelets 4-6 mm long.  Glumes c 2-4 mm long, lemmas c 3-4 mm long.

ID: Typical Poa spikelets as in pic below.  Panicle branches 3-6 together, lowest group usually at least 4, bare towards the base, spikelets clustered together in the same plane towards the end of the branches.  Ligule very short, usually < 1 mm high. 

Other features: Tufted, with creeping underground stems.  Stems not or hardly flattened, rather stiff.  Stem leaves flat, c 4 mm wide.  Base leaves often wiry and folded about the midrib.  The species is very variable, partly owing to forms developed in cultivation.

 

Photo Carl Farmer
24 May 2003 Portree, Skye
Ruler lines are millimetres
 

A panicle branch, spikelets still rather young at this stage