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Early Meadow-grass

Poa infirma

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, gardens, grassland, lawns, meadows, roadsides, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside.

Green, no petals
Branches of flattened spikelets.
Grasses have fruits which are known as caryopses. One-seeded.
A compact tufted annual grass with yellowish-green, strap-shaped leaves. This species is almost identical to Annual Meadow-grass (Poa annua). The stems are more compressed than those of Annual Meadow-grass. The ligules are usually blunter too.
Other Names:
Meadow Bluegrass, Soft Meadow-grass, Weak Bluegrass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Poa infirma is a species of grass in the Poaceae family, commonly known as weak bluegrass or meadow bluegrass. It is native to North America, Europe and Asia. It is typically found in meadows, pastures, and along roadsides. It is a short-lived perennial grass that grows to a height of 8-20 inches and produces blue-green leaves and small, light green flowers in the summer. It is often used as a lawn grass and in turf mixtures, but is considered less desirable than Kentucky bluegrass due to its weaker growth habit.


Early Meadow-grass (Poa infirma) is a common species of grass found in meadows, lawns, and other open areas across Europe and Asia. It is also known by other common names such as 'weak bluegrass' and 'soft meadow-grass'. The grass can be easily identified by its delicate appearance and thin, wiry stems that can grow up to 50 cm in length.

Early Meadow-grass prefers moist and fertile soils, and it can tolerate both sunny and shady conditions. It usually flowers from April to July and produces tiny, delicate flowers in clusters on thin stalks that rise above the grass blades.

This species of grass is highly valued by many gardeners and landscapers due to its soft, fine texture and delicate appearance. It is often used to create lawns and to fill in bare patches in grassy areas. The grass is also a favorite of many wildlife species, including birds and insects that feed on its seeds and nectar.

One of the distinguishing features of Early Meadow-grass is its relatively short life span. It typically grows for only two to three years before it dies off, making it a relatively short-lived species. However, it can produce large quantities of seed during its short life, which helps to ensure that it remains a common and widespread species.

Early Meadow-grass has a long history of use in traditional medicine. The grass contains a number of compounds that are believed to have medicinal properties, including tannins, flavonoids, and saponins. In traditional medicine, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive disorders, and skin conditions.

In addition to its use in traditional medicine, Early Meadow-grass has also been used for a variety of other purposes throughout history. For example, its fibrous stems were once used to make twine and cordage, and its seeds were ground into flour and used to make bread.

In modern times, Early Meadow-grass is often used as a turfgrass for golf courses and sports fields due to its ability to tolerate heavy traffic and recover quickly from damage. It is also used in conservation and restoration projects to help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.

One of the challenges of working with Early Meadow-grass is its tendency to hybridize with other species of Poa grasses, which can make it difficult to maintain pure populations. Additionally, it can be challenging to grow from seed, as the seeds are small and require careful attention to germinate successfully.

Despite these challenges, Early Meadow-grass remains a popular and important species of grass for a variety of applications. Its delicate appearance, soft texture, and ability to thrive in a range of conditions make it a versatile and valuable addition to any landscape.

Early Meadow-grass also plays an important role in the ecology of its native habitats. It provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including small mammals, insects, and birds. Additionally, its deep roots help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, while its ability to tolerate a range of growing conditions makes it an important component of many different types of ecosystems.

Unfortunately, like many species of grasses and other plants, Early Meadow-grass is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, as well as by invasive species that can outcompete it for resources. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore populations of this important grass species, including efforts to restore degraded grasslands and meadows and to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Early Meadow-grass is also important for its role in carbon sequestration. Like all plants, it takes in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and stores the carbon in its tissues. Grasslands and meadows, where Early Meadow-grass is often found, are important carbon sinks that help to mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

In addition, Early Meadow-grass is an indicator species that can provide valuable information about the health of an ecosystem. Changes in the distribution and abundance of Early Meadow-grass populations can signal changes in soil health, nutrient availability, and other environmental factors that can impact the entire ecosystem.

Overall, Early Meadow-grass is a fascinating and important species of grass that plays many important roles in natural ecosystems and human landscapes. As we continue to learn more about this species and its interactions with the environment, we can work to protect and conserve it for future generations.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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