Poa pratensis

Poa pratensis_Kentucky bluegrass_JM DiTomaso
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Paneion pratense (L.) Lunell., several subspecies

Common names: Kentucky bluegrass; smooth meadowgrass

Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) is a perennial grass (family Poaceae) that has escaped cultivation and is found sporadically in many different habitats in California. Kentucky bluegrass can produce 200 seeds per panicle in the first year and the species increases with grazing and burning. Kentucky bluegrass out competes with native species, reducing overall diversity and altering species composition.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Poa pratensis Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Poa pratensis_immature florets_KeirMorse
    Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) immature florets. Photo: Keir Morse
    Poa pratensis_inflorescence_KeirMorse
    Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) inflorescence. Photo: Keir Morse
    Poa pratensis_leaf base and sheath_KeirMorse
    Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) leaf base and sheath. Photo: Keir Morse
    Poa pratensis_growth habit_JeanPawek
    Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) growth habit. Photo: Jean Pawek