Poa

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Not to be confused with Poá.
For other uses, see POA (disambiguation).
Poa
Poa annua.jpg
annual meadow-grass (Poa annua)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Poa
L.
Species

About 500 species, see text.

"Bluegrass": The seed pods go from green to purplish blue to brown. During the purplish blue phase the seed stems have a navy blue coating.
rough meadow-grass (Poa trivialis), showing the ligule structure

Poa[1] 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 (0.6 to 0.9 meters).[2] 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[edit]

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.[3] Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) can sometimes be considered a weed.[4]

According to Galen, the roots of certain species are good for treating fresh wounds and bleeding. In the sixteenth century, Poa grasses were used for inflammation of the kidney.[5]

Some of the Poa species are popular for gardens and for landscaping in New Zealand.

Insect foodplant[edit]

See also List of Lepidoptera that feed on grasses

Lepidoptera whose caterpillars feed on Poa include:

Species[edit]

Species include:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From Greek πόα "grass, meadow."
  2. ^ What Makes Kentucky's Bluegrass Blue. New York Times. June 3, 1993.]
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Gerarde, John (1597). "The Herball or Generall Historie Of Plantes". Retrieved 2009-01-11.