Seed
Vegetative Growth
Flowering Plant

Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass

Grass

(Poa pratensis)

Found throughout the UK in meadows and traditional pastures. It is said to be one of the greenest grasses found growing in the early spring, and is an indicator of land that is well drained and in good heart. The species itself is palatable, and nutritional to livestock, often called one of the traditional 'sweet grasses'.

Uses

Used for grazing and as a bottom grass component of a traditional sward.

Persistence

A long term persistent perennial species.

Strengths

This is one of the most nutritious meadow grasses, with early spring growth and persisting on thinner, dry land.

Frost Tolerance

Good frost tolerance.

Sowing Rate Advice

25kgs per acre / 62.5kgs per ha.

Not usually sown as a pure stand.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

2 - 4 kgs per acre

Provides a useful base to traditional grass mixtures

Ideal Sowing Time

Sow from May to June.

Management

Generally it can tolerate moderate to heavy grazing.

Distinguishing characteristics

Seed

Seed
The seed is a narrow ovate to oblong shape. It has a smooth texture and a beige colour. It is a small seed, varying from 2 - 3mm in length.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant

Flowering Plant
Rich and green in colour especially in early to mid spring. The leaf blades are flat, hairless and approximately 3-4 mm wide, the leaf runs to a hooded, boat shaped tip. The topmost leaf, next to the panicle is shorter than the leaf sheath. Each leaf sheath is usually smooth to touch unlike rough stalk meadow grass. Each culm has a long upper sheath and the leaves have a tendency to spread from the base of the plant. The ligule is short, cylindrical and smooth. The panicle is pyramidal in shape, with a purple, greenish tinge from mid season onwards. This species has a creeping rootstock with runners, unlike rough stalk meadow grass. It varies in height from 10-90cm.

Additional Info

Flowers May - August. Average seeds per kg - 3 000 000. Known as Kentucky Bluegrass in the United States.

Works well with

Smooth stalk meadow grass can be combined with other reasonably non aggressive species, to create a traditional long term grass pasture, these species include dogstail, smaller catstail and red fescue. It may also be included in more productive traditional mixtures with robust species like Timothy and meadow fescue as a sward filling 'bottom grass'.

You can find Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass in the following mixtures

History

Often known as one of the 'sweet grasses' due to its high nutritive quality.