|annual meadow-grass (Poa annua)|
About 500 species, see text.
Poa is a genus of about 500 species of grasses, native to the temperate regions of both hemispheres. Common names include meadow-grass (mainly Europe and Asia), bluegrass (mainly North America), tussock (some New Zealand species), and speargrass. "Poa" is Greek for fodder. Poa are members of the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family.
Bluegrass, which has green leaves, derives its name from the seed heads, which are blue when the plant is allowed to grow to its natural height of two to three feet. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is the type species of the family Poaceae.
The genus Poa includes both annual and perennial species. Most are monoecious, but a few are dioecious (separate male and female plants). The leaves are narrow, folded or flat, sometimes bristled, and with the basal sheath flattened or sometimes thickened, with a blunt or hooded apex and membranaceous ligule.
Cultivation and uses
Many of the species are important pasture plants, used extensively by grazing livestock. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is the most extensively used cool-season grass used in lawns, sports fields, and golf courses in the United States. Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) can sometimes be considered a weed.
Some of the Poa species are popular for gardens and for landscaping in New Zealand.
Lepidoptera whose caterpillars feed on Poa include:
- Agriphila inquinatella
- Cercyonis pegala (Common Wood-nymph)
- Poanes hobomok (Hobomok Skipper)
- Poanes zabulon (Zabulon Skipper)
- Poa abbreviata - short bluegrass
- Poa alpigena - northern meadow-grass
- Poa alpina - alpine meadow-grass
- Poa alsodes - grove bluegrass
- Poa angustifolia - narrow-leaved meadow-grass
- Poa annua - annual meadow-grass, annual bluegrass
- Poa arachnifera - Texas bluegrass
- Poa arctica - arctic meadow-grass
- Poa arida
- Poa atropurpurea - San Bernardino bluegrass
- Poa badensis
- Poa balfourii
- Poa bigelovii
- Poa bolanderi
- Poa bulbosa - bulbous meadow-grass
- Poa cita - silver tussock
- Poa chaixii - broad-leaved meadow-grass
- Poa chathamica
- Poa colensoi - blue tussock
- Poa compressa - flattened meadow-grass
- Poa confinis
- Poa cookii - Cook's tussock
- Poa cusickii
- Poa diaboli - Diablo Canyon bluegrass
- Poa douglasii - Douglas bluegrass
- Poa dura
- Poa ensiformis - sword tussock-grass, purple-sheathed sussock-grass
- Poa fendleriana
- Poa flabellata
- Poa flexuosa - wavy meadow-grass
- Poa foliosa - muttonbird poa
- Poa glauca - glaucous meadow-grass
- Poa howellii
- Poa humilis - spreading meadow grass
- Poa infirma - early meadow-grass
- Poa iridifolia
- Poa kelloggii
- Poa kerguelensis
- Poa labillardierei - common tussock-grass
- Poa leptocoma
- Poa litorosa
- Poa macrantha
- Poa mannii
- Poa morrisii - soft tussock-grass
- Poa napensis - Napa bluegrass
- Poa nemoralis - wood meadow-grass
- Poa paludigena - bog bluegrass
- Poa palustris - swamp meadow-grass
- Poa poiformis - coast tussock-grass, blue tussock-grass
- Poa pratensis - smooth meadow-grass, Kentucky bluegrass
- Poa sandvicensis
- Poa secunda - alkali bluegrass, big bluegrass, Nevada bluegrass, pine bluegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, wild bluegrass
- Poa sieberiana - grey tussock-grass
- Poa siphonoglossa
- Poa subcaerulea - spreading meadow-grass
- Poa supina - creeping meadow-grass
- Poa trivialis - rough meadow-grass
- Poa unilateralis
- From Greek πόα "grass, meadow."
- What Makes Kentucky's Bluegrass Blue. New York Times. June 3, 1993.]
- Dvorchak, Robert (June 13, 2007). "Oakmont-inspired Stimpmeter allows USGA to accurately measure speed, consistency of putting surfaces". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- Ohlendorf, B.; D. W. Cudney, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside; C. L. Elmore, Vegetable Crops/Weed Science, UC Davis; and V. A. Gibeault, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside (April 2003). "Annual Bluegrass Management Guidelines--UC IPM". University of California. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- Gerarde, John (1597). "The Herball or Generall Historie Of Plantes". Retrieved 2009-01-11.
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