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

Poa paucispicula Scribn. & Merr.
few-flowered bluegrass (Alaska bluegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25483)

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Distribution of Poa paucispicula
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Species Information

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Perennial tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 10-30 cm tall.
Sheath margins open 2/5-3/4 their length; blades 1-3 mm wide, flat, thin; ligules 1-2 mm long, the tips blunt to rounded, the backs smooth.
Inflorescence a lax to nearly erect panicle, 2.5-10 cm long, sparse, open, the branches 1 to 2 per node, spreading to reflexed, hairlike, smooth; spikelets laterally compressed, 4-6 mm long, 3- to 5-flowered; glumes lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, thin, the lower ones 1-nerved; rachillas smooth, hairless; lemmas broadly lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, the tips sharp-pointed, usually purple-coloured, surface smooth, keel and marginal nerves silky-hairy, between nerves hairless; calluses sparsely cobwebby; palea keels smooth to rough; flowers bisexual; anthers 0.4-1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist fellfields, snowbeds and meadows in the alpine zone; frequent throughout BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YK and NT, E to AB and S to MT and N WA; Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Poa paucispicula

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) 900 1772 2590
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 16 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 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(1), BAFA(13), cma(2), ESSF(2), IDF(2), IMA(3), SBS(2)


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 glacialis
Poa leptocoma subsp. paucispicula (Scribn. & Merr.) Tzvelev
Poa leptocoma var. paucispicula (Scribn. & Merr.) C.L. Hitchc.
Poa merrilliana Hitchc.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References