Poa pratensis L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753 subsp. pratensis

Ortega-Olivencia, Ana & Devesa, Juan A., 2018, Updated checklist of Poa in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, PhytoKeys 103, pp. 27-60: 27

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Poa pratensis L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753 subsp. pratensis


1. Poa pratensis L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753 subsp. pratensis 

Poa angustifolia var. pratensis  (L.) Simonkai, Enum. Fl. Transsilv. 580. 1886.

Paneion pratense  (L.) Lunell, Amer. Midl. Nat. 4: 222. 1915.

Ill. var. pratensis  [ Soreng and Peterson (2012: 67, fig. 18 C–J, sub P. pratensis subsp. pratensis  ); Devesa (1987: 261, sub P. pratensis  )]; var. minor  [ Soreng and Peterson (2012: 67, fig. 18 A-B, sub P. pratensis subsp. irrigata  )]; var. angustifolia  [ Ruiz (1991: 29, lam. II, sub P. angustifolia  ]; Soreng and Peterson (2012: 66, fig. 17 H–I, sub P. pratensis subsp. angustifolia  )].


"Habitat in Europae pratis fertilissimis". Typus: Russia, Prov. Sanct-Petersburg, 5 km australi-occidentum, versus a st. viae ferr. Mga. pratulum ad ripam dextram fl. Mga, 26 Jun 1997, N. N. Tzvelev N-257 (type conserved, designated by Soreng and Barrie 1999, pg. 157: BM-000576302; isolectotypes: B, C, CAN, CONC, H, K, KW, L, LE, LIV, MA, MO, MW, NSW, P, PE, PR, S, SI, TNS, US, W).


April-August (September).


Grasslands at edges of watercourses, ravines, ponds and alpine wetlands ( “borreguiles”), walls, wet soils on slopes, ditches, cultivated fields, clearings surrounded by pines, holm oaks, Portuguese oaks and other oaks; edaphically indifferent; 0−2400 m a.s.l.


Eurasia, N Africa and Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands); introduced in N, C and S America and Australia. Scattered throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. And. Spa.: A Ab Al Av B Bu C Cc Co CR Cs Cu Ge Gr Gu Hu J L Le Lo Lu M Ma Mu Na O Or P PM[Mll] (Po) S Sa Sg So SS (T) Te To V Va Vi Z Za. Port: AAl (BA) (BB) (BL) DL (E) Mi TM.


Poa pratensis  is one of the most polymorphic taxa in the genus for a variety of reasons: its great morphological and cytological variation, the predominance of agamospermy, its vegetative propagation and wide distribution, the latter due in part to its introduction into many parts of the world for use on lawns, as fodder or for soil stabilisation ( Soreng and Barrie 1999). At least 220 crop varieties are recognised ( Stoneberg Holt et al. 2004).

In the territory covered by Flora iberica, three patterns of variation are recognised. Plants with scarcely any extravaginal shoots and possessing basal-leaf ligules with scattered or sometimes entangled apical hairs up to 0.4 mm and 0.2-0.5 mm on the back correspond to Poa pratensis  var. minor  Wahlenb., Fl. Upsal. 33. 1820. [Type: "Hab. in pratis et pascuis fertilibus plerisque frequenter"; Poa humilis  Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 6: 84. 1791, nom. nud.; P. humilis  Ehrh. ex Hoffm., Deutschl. Fl. 1: 45. 1800, type: "In cultis, ad vias; fl. Apr. Sept."; P. subcaerulea  Sm., Engl. Bot. 14, lam. 1004. 1802, basion., type: "Gathered in Anglesea by the Rev. H. Davies, flowering in June"; P. depressa  J. Presl & C. Presl, Fl. Čech. 20. 1819, type: "Summa Sudetorum cacuminal"; P. pratensis var. latifolia  Weihe ex Mert. & W.D.J. Koch, Deutschl. Fl. 1(2): 612. 1823, type: "Auf dürren sandigen Hügeln, auf magern Grasplätzen und auf den Triften hoher Gebirge bleibt"; P. pratensis var. subcaerulea  (Sm.) Sm., Engl. Fl. 1: 126 (1824); P. pratensis var. humilis  (Ehrh. ex Hoffm.) Ehrh. ex Spenn., Fl. Friburg. 1: 130. 1825; P. pratensis subsp. latifolia  (Weihe ex Mert. & W.D.J. Koch) Schübl. & G. Martens, Fl. Würtemberg 77. 1834; P. pratensis var. depressa  (J. Presl & C. Presl) Opiz, Seznam Rost. Kvet. Cesk. 76. 1852; P. pratensis var. maritima  Corb., Nouv. Fl. Normandie 655. 1894, type: "Sables maritimes et pelouses du littoral. C."; P. irrigata  Lindm., Bot. Not. 1905: 73, 88. 1905, type: "Hab. in uliginosis, pratis et viarum marginibus irrigatis, fossis graminosis, solo abiegnorum muscoso humido, haud raro in pratis litoralibus, hinc inde in pascuis solo duriore turfoso. Vidi specimina typica ex Ölandia (Borgholm), ....."; P. irrigata f. rigens  Lindm., Bot. Not. 1905: 90. 1905, type: "Hab. In Lapponia"; P. pratensis  “race” subcaerulea (Sm.) Rouy, Fl. France 14: 283. 1913; P. pratensis subsp. irrigata  (Lindm.) H. Lindb., Exsicc. (Pl. Finland.) 2: 20. 1916; P. pratensis subsp. subcaerulea  (Sm.) Hiitonen, Suomen Kasvio 205, fig. 5. 1933]. This variety is known from N and C Europe (introduced in N America) and also appears on N and SW portions of the Iberian Peninsula [Spa.: B H Na S SS (Z)], where it is found on grasslands, nitrified dunes and mountainous limestone rocks [0−1380 m a.s.l. May to September].

Two varieties with abundant extravaginal shoots and basal-leaf ligules without hairs or with hairs that are smaller than 0.15 mm, are recognised, although plants having intermediate characteristics are also frequently present. Poa pratensis  var. pratensis  [ Poa glabra  Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 6: 82. 1791, nom. nud.; P. pratensis var. anceps  Gaudin, Agrost. Helv. 1: 215. 1811, type: "Hab. in paludibus torfaceis. Schleicher. Perennis"; P. pratensis subsp. anceps  (Gaudin) Lej. & Courtois, Comp. Fl. Belg. 82. 1828; P. pratensis  α vulgaris Gaudin, Fl. Helv. 1: 258. 1828, nom. superfl.; P. anceps  (Gaudin) Hegetschw., Fl. Schweiz 81. 1838, nom. illeg., non Poa anceps  G. Forst., Fl. Ins. Austr. 8. 1786; P. angustifolia subsp. anceps  (Gaudin) K. Richt., Pl. Eur. 1: 87. 1890; P. pratensis  “race” compressiformis Rouy, Fl. France 14: 283. 1913, type: "HAB. - Prairies ombragées, tourbières. − Ça et là dans l’aire du type"; P. pratensis var. humilis  sensu Coutinho, Fl. Portugal 1: 104. 1939, non P. pratensis var. humilis  (Ehrh. ex Hoffm.) Spenn., Fl. Friburg. 1: 130. 1825, syn. nov.] includes plants in which the blade of most basal leaves is 1.2 –3.8(– 5.5) mm wide, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, flat or conduplicate, usually delicate, flexible. This variety is distributed in Eurasia, N Africa and Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands) and is naturalised in N America and Australia. It is widely dispersed on the Iberian Peninsula [(And.). Spa.: A Ab Al Av B Bu (C) Cc Co CR Cs (Cu) Ge Gr Gu Hu J L Le Lo Lu M Ma Mu Na O Or P (Po) S Sa Sg So SS (T) Te (To) V Va (Vi) Z Za. Port: AAl (BA) (BB) BL DL E Mi TM], where it appears in mountainous areas [650−2400 m a.s.l. (April) May to July (August)].

Finally, Poa pratensis  var. angustifolia  (L.) Sm., Fl. Brit. 1: 105. 1800 [ Poa angustifolia  L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753, basion., type: "Habitat in Europa ad agrorum versuras" (lectotype designated by Soreng 2000, pg. 254: Herb. Linn. No. 87.12!, excluding second culm from left); P. brizoides  Vill., Hist. Pl. Dauphiné 2: 126. 1787, nom. illeg., non L. fil., Suppl. Pl. 110. 1782, = Eragrostis capensis  ; P. villarsii  J.F. Gmel., Syst. Nat., ed. 13, 2: 182. 1791, type: "not expressly indicated"; P. setacea  Hoffm., Deutschl. Fl., ed. 2, 1: 44. 1800, nom. illeg., non Huds., Fl. Angl. 34. 1762; P. strigosa  Hoffm., Deutschl. Fl., ed. 2, 1: 44. 1800, type: "In siicioribus elatis; fl. Maj. Iun"; P. pratensis subsp. angustifolia  (L.) Lej., Comp. Fl. Belg. 82. 1828; P. angustifolia subsp. brizoides  K. Richt., Pl. Eur. 1: 88. 1890; P. pratensis subsp. atlantis  Maire, Fl. Afrique N. 3: 101. 1955, type: "Bords des ruisselets, prairies irriguées des collines et montagens siliceuses, rare.- M. Grand Atlas, Mont Gourza vers 2800 m (M.)"], includes plants in which the blade of the basal and shoot leaves is 0.5−1.3 mm wide, linear or setaceous, convolute, usually rigid and brittle. Its distribution area extends across Europe, NW of Africa (Morocco), SW and S Asia and Macaronesia (Canary Islands and Madeira) and it is also introduced in N America. It is scattered over much of the territory covered by Flora iberica [And. Port.: BL (E) Mi TM. Spa.: A Ab Al Av B Bu C Cc Co CR Cu Ge Gr Gu Hu J L Le Lo Lu M Ma Mu Na O Or P PM [Mll] S Sa Sg So (T) Te To V Va Vi Z Za], blooming between April and July, from sea level to 2150 (2400) m.

For a representative list of studied materials, see Suppl. material 1.