Poa flabellata

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Poa flabellata
Poa flabellata1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Poa
Species: P. flabellata
Binomial name
Poa flabellata
(Lam.) Hook. f.
  • Parodiochloa flabellata
  • Festuca flabellata
  • Dactylis caespitosa
  • Dactylis coespitosa

Poa flabellata, commonly known as tussac grass or just tussac, is a tussock grass native to southern South America, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and other islands in the South Atlantic. It was introduced to the Shetlands,[1] Scotland for basket making in 1844,[2] and possibly as a source of fodder[citation needed] because of its ability to grow in hostile conditions.[citation needed].

Edward Gennys Fanshawe, Tussac Grass, Falkland Islands

It grows in dense clumps, usually about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) high (although they can be much taller), on wet coastal land and is a dominant feature of much of the landscape.

Associated Organisms[edit]

The plant community dominated by P. flabellata is widely used by birds and mammals.

Breeding colonies of southern fur seal, elephant seal, magellanic penguin and albatrosses are all found amongst tussac grass on South Georgia and elsewhere. The austral thrush is predominantly found in this habitat on the Falkland Islands, with tussocks being used as nesting sites.[3] The South Georgia pipit also uses the tussocks for nesting.

On South Georgia, it is a principal food of the introduced reindeer,[4] which has caused considerable environmental damage, including erosion and replacement of tussac grass by the introduced annual meadow-grass.[4]


  1. ^ Stace (2010) pp. 1013-1014
  2. ^ "Poa flabellata". On-line Atlas of the British Flora. 
  3. ^ Collar (2005) pp. 677-678
  4. ^ a b Christie, Darren (2010). Reindeer on South Georgia, Literature Review and Discussion of Management Options (PDF). Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. 


  1. Collar, N. J. (2005), "Family Turdidae (Thrushes)", in del Hoyo. J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes, Handbook of the Birds of the World 10, pp. 514–811, ISBN 84-87334-72-5 
  2. Edmondson, J. R. (1980). "Poa". In T. G. Tutin, V. H. Heywood, N. A. Burges, D. H. Valentine, S. M. Walters & D. A. Webb. Alismataceae to Orchidaceae. Flora Europea 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1159–1167. 
  3. Marticorena, C. & M. Quezada. 1985. Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 42: 1–157.
  4. Moore, D. M. (1983). Flora of Tierra del Fuego. Oswestry; St. Louis: A. Nelson; Missouri Botanical Garden. p. 396. 
  5. Moore, D. M. 1968. The vascular flora of the Falkland Islands. Brit. Antarc. Surv. Sci. Rep. 60: 1–202, 1–6 pls.
  6. Nicora, E. G., M. E. D. Paula, A. M. Faggi, M. d. Mariano, A. M. M. A., L. R. Parodi, C. A. Petetin, F. A. Roig & Z. R. Agrasar. 1978. Gramineae. 8(3): 1–583. In M. N. Correa Fl. Patagónica. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Buenos Aires.
  7. Soreng, R. J., G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, E. J. Judziewicz, T. S. Filgueiras & O. Morrone. 2003 and onwards. On-line taxonomic novelties and updates, distributional additions and corrections, and editorial changes since the four published volumes of the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae) published in Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. vols. 39, 41, 46, and 48. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/CNWG:. In R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, T. S. Filgueiras, E. J. Judziewicz & O. Morrone Internet Cat. New World Grasses. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
  8. Soreng, R. J., L. M. Giussani & M. A. Negritto. 2003. Poa. In Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae): IV. Subfamily Pooideae. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 48: 505–580.
  9. Stace, C.A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 1232. ISBN 978-0-521-70772-5. 
  10. Zuloaga, F. O., E. G. Nicora, Z. E. R. Agrasar, O. Morrone, J. Pensiero & A. M. Cialdella. 1994. Catálogo de la familia Poaceae en la República Argentina. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 47: i–xi, 1–178.
  11. Zuloaga, F. O., O. Morrone, M. J. Belgrano, C. Marticorena & E. Marchesi. (eds.) 2008. Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 107(1): i–xcvi, 1–983; 107(2): i–xx, 985–2286; 107(3): i–xxi, 2287–3348.