Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Poa bulbosa
bulbous bluegrass

Distribution: Both sides of the Cascades in Washington; throughout most of western North America, more scattered in central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Disturbed areas from the coast to midmontane.

Flowers: March-June

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Strongly tufted, glabrous perennial, the culms hollow, 1.5-4 dm. tall.


Sheaths open almost to the base; ligules 1.5-3 mm. long, blunt to acuminate, usually entire; blades 1-2.5 mm. broad, flat to folded, scabrous, the tip prow-like.


Inflorescence an open to contracted panicle up to 10 cm. long; spikelets 3-5 mm. long, but florets usually modified into elongate, purplish bulbils up to 20 mm. long; glumes 2-3 mm. long; normal lemmas about 5 per spikelet, keeled, 2-4 mm. long, webbed at base; viviparous spikelets modified into a single bulbil enclosed by the several leaf-like lemmas 5-20 mm. long; stamens and pistils mostly lacking.

Accepted Name:
Poa bulbosa L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
ssp. vivipara – bulbous blue grass
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Poa bulbosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Poa bulbosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Poa bulbosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Poa bulbosa photos.

USDA Plants: Poa bulbosa information.

29 photographs:
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