Sunday, May 17, 2020

Kentucky bluegrass goes wild thanks to Covid-19 Lockdown

We had just hiked some of the trails at the Rutgers Ecological Preserve in Piscataway, NJ when I noticed a field of grasses had flowered close to one of the trailhead entrances.

Spikelets of Kentucky bluegrass

I moseyed on over and found flowering spikes on top of short stems clustered in masses across the entire front of the large red sign for the preserve.

Membranous collar-like ligule of Kentucky bluegrass

The Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) in the area had not been mowed recently, perhaps due to the current Covid-19 lockdown, and the grasses had grown  almost knee high and flowered!

Panicle of Kentucky bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass has been frequently touted as the ideal lawn grass, and I believe this is the first time I had ever seen it flower, since obviously most lawns are mowed rather frequently and the species is kept short and vegetative.

Dark green linear leaves of Kentucky bluegrass

The grass can be identified by its long linear leaves, with boat-shaped tips, as well as a membranous collar-like ligule and loose panicles.

I took some pics of the rather unusual sight, knowing that I would not get to see this again soon in the neatly-manicured lawns of my suburban community.


  1. I am learning grasses (slowly) and this was very helpful.

    1. They're rather harder to ID than other plants, so Good Luck ;-)