Poa annua, or annual meadow grass (known in America more commonly as annual bluegrass or simply poa), is a widespread low-growing turfgrass in temperate climates. Though P. annua is commonly considered a solely annual plant due to its name, perennial bio-types do exist. 'Poa' is Greek for fodder. It is one of the sweetest grasses for green fodder, but less useful than hay. This grass may have originated as a hybrid between Poa supina and Poa infirma.
It has a slightly creeping, fibrous, rootstock. The stem grows from 15–25 cm high. It is slightly flattened, due to being folded rather than rolled.
The panicle is open and triangular shaped, 5 to 7.5 cm long. The spikelets are stalked, awnless, 1 to 2 cm long when flowering, and loosely arranged on delicate paired or spreading branches. Sometimes they are tinged purple.
The vivid green leaves are short and blunt at the tips, shaped like the prow of a small canoe. They are soft and drooping. Long sheaths clasp the stem. The leaves are smooth above and below, with finely serrated edges. Occasionally the leaves are serrated transversely.
The leaves are smooth above and below, with finely serrated edges. Occasionally the leaves are serrated transversely.
It is in flower all year around except for severe winters. The seeds ripen and are deposited 8 months of the year. The plant grows rapidly from seed, flowering within 6 weeks, seeding and then dying.
Distribution and habitat
It is a common weed of cultivation, known in the Americas as annual bluegrass. It occurs as a common constituent of lawns, where it is also often treated as a weed, and grows on waste ground. Many golf putting greens, including the famously fast Oakmont Country Club greens, are annual bluegrass, although many courses have converted to creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera).
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- European Poa Database
- The Observers Book of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. Frances Rose. pages 38–39
- Kew gardens grass database
- Weeds friend or foe? Sally Roth. pages 86–87
- BSBI Description
- collins pocket guide Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns. fitter.R, Fitter.A, Farrer.A.1995. page 54
- BSBI Description retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Ohlendorf, B.; D. W. Cudney; C. L. Elmore; V. A. Gibeault (April 2003). "Annual Bluegrass Management Guidelines--UC IPM". University of California. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- Dvorchak, Robert (2007-06-13). "Oakmont-inspired Stimpmeter allows USGA to accurately measure speed, consistency of putting surfaces". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Antarctic ecology: Polar invaders, The Economist, Mar 6th 2012