Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wood Bluegrass - Poa nemoralis   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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AuthorL.
DistributionScattered in the Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. To date, only 8 specimens have been seen.

Native of northern Eurasia; in N.A. mostly the northern U.S. and Canada. Scattered south to NC and KY.
AbundanceApparently rare, but probably overlooked.
HabitatStream and creek sides and bottoms, grassy bald (Jane Bald on Roan Mountain), roadsides, swampy ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-August.
IdentificationWood Bluegrass grows mostly 1-2 feet tall, with an elongate inflorescence whose branches are ascending to spreading. There are only 2-4 florets per spikelet, giving the inflorescence a sparse look.
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 RankG5
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