Page author: Don Knoke
Poa compressa
flat-stem blue grass

Distribution: Alaska east to Newfoundland, south to most of the United States; common in the Pacific Northwest.

Habitat: Waste ground, roadsides, and gardens to open woods and meadows, usually where moist.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, rhizomatous perennial, sometimes also stoloniferous, the culms 2-4 dm. tall, flattened and 2-edged.


Sheaths open to near the base; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm. long, truncate to rounded, pubescent, entire; blades 2-4 mm. broad, flat to folded, usually glabrous; the tips prow-like but rather sharply pointed.


Inflorescence a compact panicle 3-9 cm. long; spikelets 3- to 6-flowered; glumes up to 3 mm. long, subequal, the second broader; lemmas strongly keeled, 2.5-3.5 mm. long, 5-nerved, pubescent on the keel and marginal nerves; paleas slightly shorter than the lemmas, 2-keeled.

Accepted Name:
Poa compressa L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 69. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Poa compressa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Poa compressa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Poa compressa photos.

USDA Plants: Poa compressa information.

19 photographs:
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