Annual Meadow Grass (Poa annua)
Arguably one of the most successful plant species on the planet. With its adaptability and ability to reproduce rapidly, annual meadow grass can be found growing throughout the temperate climate zones of the world. Widely known simply as ‘Poa’, it is also referred to as annual bluegrass in the USA. However, despite it being found in most turf surfaces, it is never used in seed mixtures and is widely considered an unwanted weed species. Poa can be found growing in golf greens, lawns, meadows and is the grass that you will find growing in the cracks in the middle of a motorway.
In the UK, Poa makes up the majority of the sward in inland golf greens. It is able to tolerate the low heights of cut on golf greens and is capable of producing very good putting surfaces. However the issue is that it is very prone to disease, specifically fusarium, which is becoming harder to control due to reduced access to chemicals. Also due to its shallow root system, it requires regular irrigation, which in turn encourages more disease. In general it is becoming a harder grass to manage resulting in more golf course managers to transition to more sustainable perennial species such as browntop bent and Chewing’s fescue and slender creeping red fescue.