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

Poa lettermanii Vasey
Letterman's bluegrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Poa lettermanii
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Species Information

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Perennial, densely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 1-12 cm tall.
Sheath margins open 3/4-7/8 their length; blades 0.5-2 mm wide, flat or folded, thin; ligules 1-3 mm long, the backs smooth.
Inflorescence an erect panicle, 1-3 cm long, contracted, usually exserted from the top sheath, the branches appressed to ascending, slender, to 1.5 cm long, smooth, slightly grooved; spikelets laterally compressed, usually green, 3-4 mm long, longer than the stalks, 2- to 3-flowered; glumes usually equalling or exceeding the lower lemmas, the lower glumes 3-nerved; rachilla internodes less than 1 mm long, smooth; lemmas lanceolate, 2.5-3 mm long, thinly membranous, surface hairless or keels and marginal nerves sparsely minutely soft-hairy below; calluses hairless; palea keels rough; flowers bisexual; anthers 0.2-0.8 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry rocky slopes and meadows in the subalpine and alpine zones; infrequent throughout BC east of the Coast Mountains; S to CO, UT, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Poa lettermanii

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) 1580 2048 2505
Slope Gradient (%) 2 21 36
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
104 190 269
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
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(1), BAFA(1), ESSF(2), IMA(1)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Poa montevansii L. Kelso
Puccinellia lettermanii (Vasey) Ponert

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References