Kentucky bluegrass

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Poa pratensis L.

Common name(s): Kentucky bluegrass, smooth meadow grass, common meadow grass

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

– very similar to P. compressa (Canada bluegrass), but stem is not flattened below inflorescence.  See Go Botany webpage for P. compressa

– four subspecies in New England.  Native ssp. alpigena is around Mt. Washington alpine habitats only, and native ssp. agassizensis is in Aroostook Cty., ME; both are of regional conservation concern. Both ssp. angustifolia and ssp. pratensis are non-native and widespread.  See Flora Novae Angliae information at bottom of Go Botany webpage


Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 276.


Eric T. Doucette, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biology, MA College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (updated Feb 2018)