Wednesday, 21 October 2015 11:58:08 Europe/London

The origins of Smooth Stalked Meadow grass

The origins of Smooth Stalked Meadow grass

Features of smooth stalked meadow grass

Smooth stalked meadow grass is frequently found in the wild in both mineral and humus rich soils in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

It is a fine leaved, persistent species with erect, leafy shoots. Growth starts early in spring and re-growth consists mainly of leafy material, which can be mown very easily and cleanly.   

It tolerates hard wear and can regenerate from a vigorous, side tillering rhizome root system, even if the sward is badly damaged. These features makes it fantastic for golf tees, sports surfaces or lawns.

Germination and establishment is slower than most grass species and slow to establish in the sward but once mature it forms a strong presence within the mix (providing it is sown in the correct ratio). 

This grass species is drought tolerant and winter hardy which makes it a perfect partner in mixes with tall fescue or to include as we have in our Emerald mix with dwarf rye and fescues.

Smooth stalked meadow grass also has excellent shade tolerance and winter greenness. It has a flowery seed head which is easily confused with annual meadow grass and as they are from the same family this is an easy mistake to make. Annual meadow grass is, however, a weed grass which to the trained eye has obvious differences.

 seed head of poa annua or annual meadow grass

Seed head of the weed grass “annual meadow grass” - not to be confused with smooth stalked meadowgrass

 seedhead of smooth stalked meadowgrass poa pratensis


Seed head of the turf grass “smooth stalked meadow grass” .
The seeds are larger  and fatter than it's cousin annual meadow grass


The easiest way to tell the difference if not the seed head, it is the leaves. The annual meadow grass leaf has a crinkle to the leaves which differentiates it from the smooth stalked meadow grass.


 leaves of annual meadowgrass


Distinctive crinkling on the annual meadow grass leaf.


Why Smooth stalked meadow grass is used in lawn turf

Smooth stalked meadow grass makes up part of the blend in our “Emerald” mix. It adds rapid recovery from wear, shade tolerance and rich colour. “Emerald lawn turf” is sold for summer sports surfaces such as tennis courts, golf tees and prestige family lawns.


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Posted in Types of grass
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