It is very common in meadows and pastures throughout Britain. Its preferred habitat is moist, sheltered places. Its herbage is plentiful and fairly nutritious – not as much as Poa annua or Poa pratensis. It is useful for grazing on heavy and damp soil. It also copes well with the polluted atmosphere of towns and cities. It is in flower from June onwards throughout the summer.
The roughish, slender stem grows 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 ft.) high. Compare with smooth meadow grass Poa annua which has a smooth stem. The panicle is green and 15 cm (6 in.) long. The spikelets are egg-shaped.
It has a loose, whorled green panicle, much branched, 15 cm (6 in.) long.
The food plant of the caterpillars of small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), meadow brown (Maniola jurtina), gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) butterflies; common sun beetle (Amara aenea) – adults feed on the developing seeds, Eupelix cuspidata of the leafhopper family, and Myrmus miriformis a grassbug – feeds on young blades and developing seeds.
It is parasitised by grass mildew Blumeria graminis, which causes a white, powdery mildew on it.
- Clause 18.104.22.168.3 BS 7370-5
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "List of invasive species in the Great Lakes Great Lakes United / Union Saint-Laurent Grands Lacs". Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
- BSBI Description Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Martin John Sutton, Permanent and Temporary Pastures (1929), p. 60
- Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
- The Observers Book of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. Frances Rose. pp. 44–45
- Natural England description on website
- Grasses,Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland. Phillips, Roger. 1980. p. 65.