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

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 trivialis L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753 subsp. trivialis


10. Poa trivialis L., Sp. Pl. 67. 1753 subsp. trivialis 

Poa dubia  Leers, Fl. Herborn. 28, tab. 6, fig. 5. 1775. [Type: "H. in pratis humidiusculis ubique frequens; ad fossas; an der Dillae & Mühlbach copiose; etiam fisscioribus locis gramineis pervulvaris"].

Poa scabra  Ehrh., Beitr. Naturk. 6: 83. 1791, nom. inval.

Poa stolonifera  Haller ex Muhl., Descr. Gram. 139. 1817, nom. illeg., non Poa stolonifera  Bellardi, Mem. Reale Accad. Sci. Torino 5: 215. 1792.

Poa trivialis  α vulgaris  Rchb., Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 1: 37, fig. 1653, 1654. 1834, nom. superfl.

Poa feratiana  Boiss. & Reut., Pugill. Pl. Afr. Bor. Hispan. 128. 1852. [Type: "Hab. In sylvâ Irati Pyrenaeorum occidentalium loco Erreca-Idorra ( Férat in herb. Fauché!) Fl. Julio"] (lectotype designated by Burdet et al. 1981, pg. 577: specimen indicated with arrows, G00176550!).

Poa sylvicola  Guss., Enum. Pl. Inarim.: 371, tab. 18. 1854. [Type: "In sylvaticis apricis ubique vulgatissima; nec non prope Neapolina, et Stabias"].

Poa trivialis var. umbrosa  Balansa, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 21: 16. 1874. [Type: “Rhizè, dans les foréts, les lieux humides"].

Poa trivialis var. sylvicola  (Guss.) Hack., Verh. K. K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 1890: 127. 1890.

Poa attica  sensu Pérez Lara, Anales Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 15: 406 (1886), non Poa attica  -Boiss. & Heldr. in Boiss., Diagn. Pl. Orient. ser. 1, 13: 57 (1854).

Poa attica var. gaditana  Pérez Lara ex Willk., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Hispan. 22. 1893, syn. nov. [Type: " … provinciae Gadit. Haud frequens (pr. Jerez in loco et Albaladejo et in Dehesa del Torongil; pr. Grazalema ad Huertas de Benamahona, PER. LARA!) "].

Poa trivialis var. flaccida  Willk. ex J.J. Rodr., Fl. Menorca 152. 1904, syn. nov. [Type: "Barranco de Son Blanc en sitios frescos"] (lectotype designated here: first label: "Glumelle glabra. Ax. de l’epilles numi / à la base des glumelles inferieures d’un " faisceau de poile longe et soyeux. / Gaines sublisses. -illegible- noueux à / leur base, lisses au sommet. / = P. attica Boiss. Heldr. var. flaccida." (manuscr.); second label: "J. J. Rodriguez. (printed) Plantas de Menorca. (Baleares.) (printed) / Poa trivialis L.? (manuscr.) / var. (¿) flaccida Wk. ined (manuscr.) / Localidad (printed) Barranco de Son Blanc (Algar) (manuscr.) / Estacion (printed) Sitios frescos (manuscr.) / Epoca (printed) 28 mayo 1874 (manuscr.) / Leg. Rodríguez (impreso)": COI-Willk. 36527; isolectotype designated here: HGM 3121-1).

Poa trivialis subsp. sylvicola  (Guss.) H. Lindb. fil., Oefvers. Förh. Finska Vetensk.-Soc. 38(13): 9. 1906.

Poa trivialis  “rasse” majorica  [majorcica] F. Hermann, Verh. Bot. Vereins Prov. Brandenburg 54: 252. 1914, syn. nov. [Type: "An Rainen und Wegrändern sammelte …”].

Poa trivialis f. majorica  (F. Hermann) Knoche, Fl. Balear. 1: 310. 1921, syn. nov.

Poa trivialis f. flaccida  (Willk. ex J.J. Rodr.) Knoche, Fl. Balear. 1: 311. 1921, syn. nov.

Poa trivialis var. obtusata  Maire, Fl. Afr. N. 3: 99. 1955, nom. inval.

Poa trivialis subsp. feratiana  (Boiss. & Reut.) Á.M. Hern., Acta Bot. Malac. 2: 33. 1976.

Poa portalii  H. Scholz, Willdenowia 42: 293 (2012), syn. nov. [Type: Holotype: France: Aquitaine, Pyrenees Atlantiques, Iraty, c. 50 m behind camping place on a wet depression at border of a foot path in woodland, 1150 m, 11.8.2010, Böhling 15255 (B, as "Poa supina")]. Holotype B 100558216 (seen by Soreng in 2015, pers. comm.).

Poa trivialis var. modesta  Caball., nom. nud., in sched. (MA 11644, MA 11627), syn. nov.

Poa trivialis f. biflora  Bernis, Flora Maragata, nom. nud., in sched. (MA 11615; MA 11617), syn. nov.

Poa verticillata  auct., non L. (MA 11631).

Poa trivialis var. contracta  Pérez Lara, nom. nud., in sched. (MAF 28658, MAF 28569, MAF 28655), syn. nov.

Ill. Ruiz (1991: 29, lam. II), Devesa (1987: 263, sub P. trivialis subsp. trivialis  and subsp. sylvicola  ).


"Habitat in Europae pasenis" (neotype designated by Soreng 2000, pg. 256: Hudson 16, Herb. Linn. No. 87.9!).


(March) April to July.


Pastures, hygrophilous grasslands (stream edges, peat bogs, reed patches and meadows) and very wet soils of deciduous forests (e.g. alders, ashes, chestnuts and oaks); edaphically indifferent; 0−2000 (2150) m a.s.l.


Europe, N Africa, Asia and Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands); introduced in other parts of the world. Most of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. And. Port: AAl Ag BA BB BL (BAl) DL E Mi R TM. Spa.: A Ab Al Av B Ba Bu C Ca Cc Co CR Cs Ge Gr Gu H Hu J L Le Lo Lu M Ma (Mu) Na O (Or) P PM[Mll Mn] Po S Sa Se Sg So (SS) (T) (Te) To V Va Vi Za (Z). For a representative list of studied materials, see Suppl. material 1.


Poa trivialis  is variable with regard to habit, leaf size and inflorescence morphology. The most distinctive feature of this species is the elongated ligule, which is always longer than the width of the leaf blade, ovate or ± triangular in the basal leaves and irregularly dentate or bilobed with an acute apex in the uppermost ones. In addition, the spikelets have 2 or 3 flowers and the sharp, arched glumes converge around the lemma. The base of the lemma is very woolly or extremely rarely glabrous and the hairs are clearly longer than its width.

Some plants have somewhat thickened and constricted stolons, with a more or less moniliform appearance. These individuals were described as Poa sylvicola  Guss. (= P. attica var. gaditana  Pérez Lara ex Willk.; = P. trivialis var. umbrosa  Balansa). According to Soreng (pers. comm.), P. trivialis subsp. sylvicola (Guss.)  H. Lindb. fil. is common in the Mediterranean region, while subsp. trivialis  is rather infrequent and, conversely, subsp. sylvicola  is infrequent northwards. Other characteristics of subsp. sylvicola  are smoother sheaths and the consistent presence of hairs on the lower part of the marginal lemma veins vs. their absence in subsp. trivialis  . Practically speaking, the marginal vein is hairy in Mediterranean populations but glabrous or nearly so in northern ones. In both types of populations, however, the differing combinations of forms of these characters makes it almost impossible to delimit these two taxa. Consequently, we have opted not to recognise them as separate subspecies.

Poa feratiana  Boiss. & Reut. is also included here as a synonym of P. trivialis  . Plants labelled as P. feratiana  on herbarium sheets had 2 flowers per spikelet, which is diagnostic for this species, but this characteristic is also very common on most studied sheets of P. trivialis  . In addition-as indicated by Hernández Cardona (1976) after studying the type material (G-herbarium Boissier)-some of the characteristics attributed to this species in the original description were incorrect. For instance, the number of veins of the lemma is actually 5, not 3, a feature likely overlooked by the original authors because the marginal veins are usually very close to the edge. As another example, the lemma is indeed woolly at the base, as is common in P. trivialis  .

Plants with some of their spikelets completely sterile and reduced to a set of whitish or hyaline membranes are also known.