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

Poa wheeleri Vasey
Wheeler's bluegrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17172)

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Distribution of Poa wheeleri
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Species Information

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Perennial, loosely to densely tufted grass from fibrous roots and short rhizomes or with isolated shoots; stems 35-80 cm tall.
Sheaths round, margins open 1/4-2/3 their length, those of at least some lowermost leaves densely rough or hairy, the projections or hairs pointing downwards; collars of lowermost leaves hairless or with hairs of the same length and kind as on sheaths; blades of sterile shoots folded or in-rolled, infrequently flat, inner surface usually distinctly rough to minutely soft-hairy on and between nerves, of stem leaves 2-3.5 mm wide (the uppermost at least 1/4 as long as its sheath), flat or folded, inner surface indistinctly rough; ligules 0.5-2 mm long, thickened, the tips pointed to blunt, those of the lowermost leaves with the backs distinctly rough or minutely soft-hairy.
Inflorescence an erect or nodding panicle, 5-12 (18) cm long, egg-shaped to pyramidal, loosely contracted to open, lowermost internodes mostly less than 3.5 cm long, the branches 2 to 5 per node, ascending to spreading or reflexed, slightly to moderately rough; spikelets laterally compressed, 5.5-10 mm long, 2- to 7-flowered; glumes 1/4-2/3 (3/4) as long as the adjacent lemmas, the lower 1- to 3-nerved; rachillas smooth or rough, hairless or sparsely short straight-hairy; lemmas lanceolate, 3-6 mm long, the tips sharp-pointed, the surface hairless or rough, the keels and marginal nerves hairless or sparsely short silky-hairy, hairless or short straight-hairy or infrequently minutely soft-hairy between the nerves, lateral nerves obscure or moderately prominent; calluses hairless; palea keels rough; flowers female (rarely bisexual); anthers usually non-functional or aborted late in development and up to 2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic meadows and open forests in the montane and subalpine zones; locally frequent E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains N to 57 degrees N; E to MB and S to NM, UT, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Poa wheeleri

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) 5 1401 2563
Slope Gradient (%) 0 36 104
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 202 355
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 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(4), BG(3), BWBS(1), CWH(1), ESSF(61), ICH(2), IDF(77), IMA(2), MS(27), PP(8), SBPS(4), 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 nervosa var. wheeleri (Vasey) C.L. Hitchc.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References