Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canada Bluegrass - Poa compressa   L.
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Poa with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionMostly the Mountains and Piedmont; also the northern half of the Coastal Plain.

Native of Europe and western Asia; in N.A. common from mid-Canada south, but absent from TX and the Gulf Coastal Plain.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Mountains, uncommon to frequent in the Piedmont, uncommon in northern Coastal Plain.
HabitatFields, roadsides, disturbed areas; also some natural or semi-natural habitats in the Mountains.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-August.
IdentificationCanada Bluegrass grows 8 inches to 2 feet tall and has a relatively compact and elongate inflorescence. It is strongly rhizomatous. The stems are strongly compressed.
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)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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