Roughstalk bluegrass

Rough bluegrass
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Poa
Species: P. trivialis
Binomial name
Poa trivialis

Poa trivialis (Rough bluegrass; UK: Rough-stalked meadow-grass[1]), is a perennial plant, but regarded in the USA as an ornamental plant. It is part of the Poa family.


It is very common in meadows and pastures throughout Britain. Its preferred habitat is moist, sheltered places. Its herbage is plentiful and fairly nutritious - not as much as Poa annua or Poa pratensis. It is useful for grazing on heavy and damp soil. It also copes well with the polluted atmosphere of towns and cities. It is in flower from June onwards throughout the summer.

Though often considered a weed of golf courses, some use it as a turits lighter green color. It is an invasive species in the Great Lakes region and was first sighted in 1843.[2]

It has short stolons. The leaves are broad and tapering, and the sheathes are very rough. It has shiny leaves like Lolium perenne and Crested Dog's-tail.[3]

They have pointed ligules 4-10mm long. Compare to Annual Meadow grass Poa annua which is silvery and pointed, and Common Meadow grass Poa pratensis which is short and blunt.

The roughish, slender stem grows 30 to 60 cm high. Compare with smooth meadow grass Poa annua which has a smooth stem. The panicle is green and 15 cm long. The spikelets are egg-shaped.

It has a loose, whorled green panicle, much branched, 15 cm long.

It is also called Orcheston Grass, after a village on Salisbury Plain.[4]

Wildlife Value

The food plant of the caterpillars of small heath Coenonympha pamphilus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Gatekeeper Butterfly butterflies; Common Sun beetle Amara aenea - adults feed on the developing seeds, Eupelix cuspidata of the leafhopper family, and Myrmus miriformis a grassbug - feeds on young blades and developing seeds.

It is parasitised by Grass Mildew Blumeria graminis, which causes a white, powdery mildew on it.



  • The Observers Book of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. Frances Rose. pages 44–45
  • Natural England description on website
  • Grasses,Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland. Phillips, Roger. 1980. page 65.

External links

  • Kew gardens grass database
  • GLANSIS Species FactSheet

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