Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Annual Bluegrass - Poa annua   L.
Members of Poa with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state, no doubt in every county.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. essentially throughout.
AbundanceCommon to abundant throughout, except only frequent on the Outer Banks and in parts of the higher mountains.
HabitatLawns (planted or adventive), gardens, sidewalks, waste lots, fields, etc. Commonly planted as a lawn grass, on golf courses, etc.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting February-May.
IdentificationAnnual Bluegrass is one of the most widely distributed plants in the world, due to introductions. Where not mown, it is tufted and lacks a rhizome, with the culms (flowering stems) up to 8 inches (sometimes more), varying from nearly prostrate to almost erect. Inflorescences are short and relatively compact, and pale green to whitish, strongly contrasting with the green leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsThe genus Poa contains some 500 species globally, about 70 in N.A. A typical Poa species has a number of basal leaves, few stem leaves, and a terminal, open inflorescence. The inflorescence is composed of well-spaced whorls of 2-6 skinny branches, usually with short side branchlets and these bearing spikelets. Branches may be strongly ascending, horizontal, or reflexed. Spikelets are composed of 2-6 florets and are generally laterally compressed. Each glume and lemma is acute to blunt, but seldom acuminate as in many Festuca species. Unlike Festuca and Bromus, most Poa species have a small wispy tuft of white hairs at the base of each floret.
Other Common Name(s)TV golf announcers say "po'-anna"!
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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