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Rough Bluegrass (Poa Trivialis )

Crop Impacts: Turf grass, ornamental plantings, gardens




About Rough Bluegrass

As one of the most winter-hardy grasses, Rough Bluegrass can easily survive low temperatures and is one of the most common weeds of residential and commercial turf grass. Rough Bluegrass is native to Europe but can currently be found in many places around the world. In the Great Lakes Region of North America, Rough Bluegrass is considered an invasive species.

Family: Poaceae

Rough Bluegrass Scouting and Prevention

Rough Bluegrass can be distinguished from its close cousin, Kentucky Bluegrass, by its yellowish-green hue and soft blades. Rough Bluegrass has narrow, boat-shaped leaves with smooth and glossy undersides. This annual weed is spread by stolons, which form thick, dense patches on lawns. When first sprouted, the leaves are upright but will flatten as they mature.

Common Locations

  • Residential/commercial turf grass
  • Ornamental plantings
  • Gardens
  • Sheltered areas


To prevent growth of Rough Bluegrass avoid overwatering existing grass areas. Rough Bluegrass prefers cool conditions and can withstand shade if there is sufficient moisture present.

Rough Bluegrass Control

Rough Bluegrass can be controlled by watering deeply and infrequently as the roots are quite flat and cannot reach moisture that is buried within the soil. This shallow root system allows Rough Bluegrass to be easily pulled/raked from the soil. As well, Rough Bluegrass is shorter in length so mowing the grass when it is high (between 3-4 inches) will make it difficult for the weed to survive. For larger areas, it is recommended to use a motorized vertical mower to thin out the stolons and allow time for existing grass to fill in the areas naturally.

Chemical Control

At the current time, there is no chemical alternative or herbicide that will selectively distinguish Rough Bluegrass from the surrounding grasses in the area.

Latin / Alternative Bluegrass Names

  • Poa Trivialis
  • Poa
  • Rough Meadow-grass
  • Annual Bluegrass

Additional Bluegrass Resources