Aug. 8, 2022

Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis

Kentucky bluegrass originated in Europe except for a few plants in our arctic region. Why bring your cows and horses if you don't bring their food? But when could such an introduction become native? Kentucky bluegrass Is believed to have the greatest variation of polyploid chromosome numbers of any plant (2n=14 to 154). This helps make it extremely adaptable. Those adaptations then persist by reproducing mostly asexually. There are now innumerable natural and horticultural varieties, with many that originated on this continent. Many of our lawns descended from a natura,l short-growing variety discovered on a golf course in Pennsylvania in the 1940s. So how does Kentucky get involved? The story is that when European settlers reached Kentucky, they thought this grass grew particularly well there. But one wonders if this wasn't an early example of a creative marketing relabeling. The blue part of the name is because these plants are said to have blue tops if allowed to flower naturally. Kentucky bluegrass is present in all states, provinces, territories and on GL and SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 5/22/14. Grass family, Poaceae.