E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Poa leptocoma Trin.
bog bluegrass (marsh bluegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Poa leptocoma
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Species Information

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Perennial, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 15-50 cm tall.
Sheaths minutely rough-hairy, the margins open 2/5-3/4 their length; blades 1-4 mm wide, flat, thin, weakly prow-tipped; ligules 1.5-4 mm long, the tips blunt to rounded, the backs smooth or slightly rough.
Inflorescence a lax panicle, 5-15 cm long, sparse, open, the branches 1 to 3 (5) per node, spreading to reflexed, hairlike, slightly rough to rough on angles; spikelets laterally compressed, 4-8 mm long, 2- to 5-flowered; glumes awl-like to narrowly lanceolate, thin, the lower 1-nerved; rachillas smooth, hairless; lemmas broadly lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, the tips narrowly sharp-pointed, usually bronze or purple-coloured, surface thinly membranous, smooth, the keels (up to 2/3 the length) and marginal nerves sparsely silky-hairy, hairless between the nerves; calluses sparsely cobwebby; palea keels smooth, slightly rough or comb-like; flowers bisexual; anthers 0.2-1.1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows, streams and bogs in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent throughout BC except absent in NE BC; amphiberingian, N to AK and SW YT and S to NM, AZ and CA; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Poa leptocoma

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 1682 2675
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 242 359
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(4), BAFA(31), BWBS(2), CWH(2), ESSF(32), ICH(1), IDF(3), IMA(13), MH(7), MS(2), PP(2), SBPS(2), SBS(1), SWB(4)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Poa leptocoma subsp. leptocoma

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References