Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canada Bluegrass - Poa compressa   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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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, 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.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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