A low-growing, annual or occasionally perennial coarse grass, with light green leaf blades growing horizontally from a central point, and shallow, fibrous roots. It colonises bare ground and produces pale, pyramid-shaped panicles of flowers that seed prolifically from early spring to autumn, usually dying off after seeding.
Ultimate height0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height1 year
Ultimate spread0.1–0.5 metres
MoistureMoist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
Colour & scent
- Full sun
- Partial shade
East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing
ExposureExposed or Sheltered
- Native to the UK
Poa can be annual or perennial grasses forming clumps of linear leaves and open flowering panicles in summer
- Name status
How to grow
Grows well in moist conditions on any soil that isn't too acidic. In lawns, lightly raking before mowing will lift the stems for cutting. See advice on coarse grasses in lawns for more detail.
Propagate by seed, produced prolifically throughout the growing season. In temperate climates seeds germinate in late summer and autumn, and the plant overwinters to flower in spring. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for at least four years
Suggested planting locations and garden types
Seedlings are shallow rooted and may be removed by hoeing on bare soil
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.