Poa L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67. S arctopoa (Griseb.) Probat. (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 49 (incl.). Comments: (1) Poa platyantha Kom is accepted as species in Fl. Arct. Urss and given as arctic. It must appear someplace

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37.22  Poa L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67.

S Arctopoa (Griseb.) Probat. (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 49 (incl.).


(1) Poa platyantha Kom. is accepted as species in Fl. Arct. URSS and given as arctic. It must appear someplace, at least in synonymy. Until further decisions, it has been added as a separate species after P. malacantha. (Elven)

Sect. Arctopoa (Griseb.) Tzvelev in Tolm (1964), Fl. Arct. URSS 2: 121.

B Glyceria sect. Arctopoa Griseb. in Ledeb. (1853 [or: 1852?]), Fl. Ross. 4: 392.

37.22.1  Poa eminens C. Presl (1830), Reliq. Haenk. 1: 273.

S Arctopoa eminens (C. Presl) Probat. (1974). Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 50.

T [Described from Vancouver Island: "Nootka-Sund", leg. Haenke. Isotype in LE.]

2n= (1) 28 (4x). (2) 42 (6x). (3) 62.

2nD (1) Sokolovskaya (1960a Rus); Hedberg (1967 Ala); Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968, 1973a Rus). (2) Sokolovskaya (1963, 1968 Rus); Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968, 1973a Rus); Zhukova et al. (1973 Rus). (3) ?


Sect. Aphydris (Griseb.) Tzvelev (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 25.

B Glyceria sect. Aphydris Griseb. in Ledeb. (1853 [or: 1852?]), Fl. Ross. 4: 392.


(1) Is sect Aphydris sufficiently well separated from sect. Arctopoa to be upheld? (Elven)

37.22.2  Poa trautvetteri Tzvelev in Tolm. (1964), Fl. Arct. URSS 2: 122.

S Arctopoa trautvetteri (Tzvelev) Probat. (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 51.

T Siberia: ad Lena inferiorem, prope pag. Goworowo, 25.07.1875, leg. Chekanowski (LE) holotype.

2n= 42 (6x).

2nD Probatova (1974); Sokolovskaya & Rudyka in Probatova (1975).


37.22.3  Poa subfastigiata Trin. in Ledeb. (1829), Fl. Altaic. 1: 96.

S Arctopoa subfastigiata (Trin.) Probat. (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 52.

T Siberia: Transbaikal, ad Udam, herb. Pallas (LE) holotype.

2n= 42 (6x).

2nD Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968).



(1) Stable or casual in East Chukotka? (Elven)

WARNING! Might be excluded if not stable in Russian Far East.
Sect. Poa

S Sect. Bolbophorum Ascherson & Graebner (1900), Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 2, 1: 391; Sect. Cenisia Ascherson & Graebner (1900), Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 2, 1: 404.

37.22.4  Poa alpina L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67.



(1) The status of the viviparous plants is enigmatic. In Fennoscandia, Iceland and Svalbard they are now treated as a variety, at best. Iversen (1992) showed, in a local study, that seminiferous and viviparous plants often shared isoenzyme phenotypes, i.e., genotypes. The main reason of the preference for variety is that the vivipary (and seminifery) very easily can be induced by temperature changes. At the same time, the viviparous plants have their own ecology and partly distribution. This is not necessarily a conflict. Certain habitats and general climates may be more favourable for induction of vivipary than others. The circumpolar pattern is rather distinct; the viviparous plants are amphi-Atlantic (as many other viviparous grasses), but there the seminiferous plants avoid the really harsh northern Arctic.

I propose status as variety; the well-documented facts about the genetics of vivipary in this species prohibit use of subspecies. (Elven)

(2) After discussions we decided upon varieties. (Tzvelev & Elven)  Poa alpina L. var. alpina

S P. alpina L. subsp. alpina.

2n= (14-)21-74 (2x-10/11x).

2nD (1) Conert (1998, 2n=14-64). (2) Tzvelev (1964, 2n=21-44). (3) Tzvelev (1976, 2n=28-42). (4) Löve & Löve (1975) list very numerous counts in the range 2n= 21-74, many as arctic. (5) Engelskjøn (1979) lists 42 counts in the range 2n=31-52 from S and C Norway.


Comments:  Poa alpina L. var. vivipara L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67.

S P. alpina L. subsp. vivipara (L.) Arcang. (1882), Comp. Fl. Ital. 785.

2n= 32-52.

2nD Engelskjøn (1979) lists 18 counts in this range from S and N Norway, Bear Island and Spitsbergen.



(1) Poa jemtlandica is listed among the synonyms in Tzvelev's draft, but see below. (Elven)

(2) Poa x herjedalica H. Smith is often accepted as a taxon in Nordic literature and reaches the Arctic both in N Norway and in Svalbard. It is interpreted as a polymorphic hybrid between P. alpina and P. pratensis subsp. alpigena s. l. The plants (populations) seem to be mainly recent and very polyphyletic hybrids that reproduce by bulbils. I propose that we don't accept it as a taxon but perhaps mention it in a comment, like this. (Elven)

37.22.5  Poa x jemtlandica (Almq.) K. Richt. (1890), Pl. Eur. 1: 84.

B Poa alpina L. subsp. jemtlandica Almq. (1883), Bot. Not. 1883: 115.

S P. alpina L. x flexuosa Sm.

2n= 36-38.

2nD Nygren (1950 Scand); Hedberg (1958 Scotl); see Brysting et al. (1999).



(1) Added to Tzvelev's draft. A bulbil-reproducing hybrid that occurs and spreads quite independent of its parents (Nannfeldt 1937, Brysting et al. 1997, 1999, Brysting 1999). Its hybrid origin is now very well documented by several techniques (morphological intermediacy, isoenzyme additive pattern, GISH addition and translocation of genomes, see Brysting et al. 1997, 1999). Its origin is probably polytopic but it is homogeneous morphologically, often occurs apart from its parents, and it is not recent hybrid swarms as genetical restructuring and stabilisation have taken place after the hybridisation(s). Its range is in S, C and southern N Scandinavia, Scotland and Iceland, and may reach the Arctic in Iceland. In opposition to very many other taxa proposed in many drafts, this is a documented hybridogenous taxon. (Elven)

The Poa arctica R. Br. aggregate (P. almasovii, P. arctica, P. beringiana, P. lanata, P. macrocalyx, P. malacantha, P. platyantha)


(1) Most listed species - P. almasovii, P. beringiana, P. macrocalyx, P. malacantha and P. platyantha   are only tentatively placed in this aggregate as I know nothing about them. (Elven)

(2) Nearly all entities found on the Russian side are treated as species (P. malacantha, P. platyantha, P. lanata, P. almasovii, P. beringiana, P. macrocalyx, partly also P. tolmatchewii) whereas the two entities found only on the American side are treated as subspecies (subspp. williamsii, longiculmis). This is probably mainly a result of the 'traditional' difference in handling of categories in Russia and North America and must be adjusted in a joint checklist! (Elven)

37.22.6  Poa arctica R. Br. (1823), Chloris Melvill. 30.


T Canada: Melville Island [1819-1820], leg. J. Edwards (BM) holotype.


(1) Some results from Haugen (2000) may have relevance to the taxonomic decisions here. The entities investigated and compared, mainly to test two of Tzvelev's hybrid hypotheses, are: P. abbreviata, P. alpigena viviparous type, P. alpigena subsp. colpodea, P. arctica subsp. arctica, P. arctica subsp. cespitans, P. glauca and P. hartzii. The investigation concerned morphology (about 50 characters), reproductivity and isoenzymes as genetical markers.

The investigated Poa alpigena and P. arctica are insufficiently separated in most morphological characters (except the lemma hairiness) and also less distinct in isoenzymes than expected. Poa arctica subsp. cespitans is slightly more distinct from P. arctica subsp. arctica in morphology than the latter is from P. alpigena. Poa arctica subsp. cespitans is also distinct enzymatically although most closely related to P. arctica subsp. arctica. Poa alpigena subsp. colpodea is fairly distinct, both morphologically and enzymatically. In morphology, it is a little more distinct from 'normal' P. alpigena than the latter is from P. arctica subsp. arctica. In enzymes, however, P. alpigena subsp. colpodea is closer to P. alpigena s. str. than to P. arctica. Some further results are referred to below.

The investigated Svalbard plants of P. arctica subsp. arctica correspond very well both with the type material (Melville Island) and with abundant material collected in Melville Island in 1999. It obviously belong to the 'type' subspecies. Svalbard P. arctica subsp. cespitans is indistinguishable from Simmons' type collections from Ellesmere Island and also from Greenland plants named as P. arctica subsp. cespitans. Poa alpigena subsp. colpodea is described from Svalbard, and the investigated plants are very close to the type and to plants named as such in arctic America. We therefore think the results have relevance for these taxa also outside Svalbard.

What they imply is, e.g., that the separation between the Poa arctica and the P. pratensis aggregates, the latter exemplified by Svalbard P. alpigena var. vivipara and subsp. colpodea, is problematic. If we separate these two at species level (as we probably should), then we might have to recognize as species also P. arctica subsp. cespitans (not the same as P. tolmatchewii, see below) and perhaps also P. alpigena subsp. colpodea. (Elven)

(2) As to subsp. stricta. Tzvelev (1964, 1976, in draft) accepts as an arctic subspecies P. arctica subsp. stricta (Lindeb.) Nannf. (1940), Symb. Bot. Upsal. 4, 4: 67. This subspecies is based on P. stricta Lindeb. (1855, Bot. Not. 1855: 10), non Roth (1821), nec D. Don (1821). Synonyms: P. lindebergii Tzvelev (1974), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 27; P. tolmatchewii Roshev. var. stricta (Lindeb.) Tzvelev in Tolm. (1964), Fl. Arct. URSS 2: 132.

Tzvelev equalizes (in his draft and in 1964 and 1976) the local S Norwegian P. stricta Lindeb. with some viviparous segregate in the P. arctica aggregate, by him reported as arctic from Severnaya Zemlya and Kharaulakh. In S Norway, what has been named P. stricta is a distinct and fairly frequent plant within a very compact area of about 30 x 40 km. Its most distinctive characters, the tussocky growth with both intra  and extravaginal shoots, the vivipary and the narrow panicle, are not shared by the other S Norwegian representatives of the P. arctica complex. The narrow panicle is, however, purely modificative. It is characteristic of its wet late snowbed sites, but when it grows on low-lying riverbanks and roadsides it becomes spreading (and large).

Some years ago (in 1990) we made some initial enzyme study, testing a possible hybrid origin from the seminiferous P. arctica var./subsp. elongata (the most frequent local race of P. arctica) and P. glauca or flexuosa, without much luck. The question of what P. stricta Lindeb. is therefore remains unsolved. What it is not, is a widespread arctic race. The name 'stricta' has also sometimes been applied to arctic plants in Scandinavian herbaria, mainly in the late 19th century, but these differ in most details except for being viviparous. Either P. stricta Lindeb. (=P. lindebergii Tzvelev) is a local and probably hybridogenous S Norwegian taxon (as I believe), or it is a recurrent vivipary mutation scattered throughout the Arctic. In the latter case, it is not a taxon.

Another special feature of the 'stricta' entity is that it has a lower chromosome number than all other North Atlantic taxa of the P. arctica aggregate (there are five named subspecies in Norway alone). It consistently seem to have 2n=38-39 (Nannfeldt 1940, S Norway; Nygren 1950a, 1950b, S Norway; Vestre in Engelskjøn 1979, S Norway). It might be fairly local a viviparous offspring from a hybridisation between P. arctica and a low-ploid species, most probably P. flexuosa. (Elven)

Tzvelev's recombination (1964) as a variety of P. tolmatchewii indicates that he at that time (and perhaps now?) considered 'stricta'/lindebergii as a viviparous parallel of P. arctica subsp. cespitans. We have found some indications of vivipary in arctic P. arctica subsp. cespitans, and most probably the arctic reports refer to such or related plants. They differ in most characters from the S Norwegian 'stricta'. They might better be named, until we know more, as a viviparous variety of P. arctica subsp. cespitans, if they are worth a name at all. (Elven)  Poa arctica R. Br. subsp. arctica

S P. arctica R. Br. var. arctica.

2n= 42-74.

2nD Tzvelev (1976, 2n=42-74).


Comments:  Poa arctica R. Br. subsp. cespitans Simmons ex Nannf. (1940), Symb. Bot. Upsal. 4, 4: 71

S P. arctica R. Br. var. cespitans (Simmons ex Nannf.) Hyl. (1945), Uppsala Univ. årsskr. 7: 78; ?P. filipes Lange (1890), Consp. Fl. Groenl. 175.

T Canada: Ellesmere Island, Harbour Fjord, leg. H.G. Simmons 4000 (UPS) lectotype selected by Nannfeldt (1940).

2n= 56 (8x).

2nD Löve & Löve (1975) list 12 counts, nearly all as arctic.



(1) Tzvelev (1976, p. 455) synonymised P. arctica subsp. cespitans with P. tolmatchewii Roshev. and stated it to be "undoubtedly hybridogeous (or even a modern hybrid; P. arctica x glauca)". This raises two questions: (a) whether the two are synonymous; and (b) whether the hybrid hypothesis can be supported for one or the other (or both).

Poa tolmatchewii Roshev. (1932), Izv. Bot. Sada AN SSSR 30: 299, was typified from Siberia: eastern Taimyr, lower reaches of Yamu-Taimyr, lower part of the slope near Yamu-Tarida bank, 13.09.1928, leg. A. Tolmachev 834 (LE). Tzvelev's hybrid hypothesis probably mainly concerns P. tolmatchewii. By induction this hypothesis has also been transferred to P. arctica subsp. cespitans.

There is no evidence that P. arctica subsp. cespitans and P. tolmatchewii are the same, or even very similar. The diagnostic characters given for P. tolmatchewii do not fit subsp. cespitans (see Haugen 2000). Tzvelev's hybrid hypothesis may therefore well be true for P. tolmatchewii but not for P. arctica subsp. cespitans. I have also excluded most of the Russian areas and Alaska from the distribution as these reports are based on a too extended concept of P. arctica subsp. cespitans.

Poa arctica subsp. cespitans differs from P. arctica subsp. arctica in numerous morphological characters, but the differences do not point in the direction of P. glauca. The isoenzymes show no addition pattern indicative of influence from P. glauca or any other species, at least not in the North Atlantic area (Haugen 2000). I therefore think we should forget the hybrid hypothesis proposed in Tzvelev's draft.

Poa arctica subsp. cespitans is genetically simpler, with fewer markers, and at a lower ploidy level than P. arctica subsp. arctica (Haugen 2000). It seems to be constantly octoploid whereas most supported counts of P. arctica subsp. arctica are higher. The Svalbard plants are pollen-sterile and agamospermous, and Canadian material we have investigated is similar. If it is involved in hybridisation, it is rather as an agamospermous offspring from a parental taxon in the P. arctica aggregate than as an offspring.

This taxon might be also recognized as a species (perhaps as P. filipes) on level with some of the Beringian species. It is at least as distinct as many of these. It seems to be amphi-Atlantic and does not reach Siberia and Taimyr; it reaches east to Novaya Zemlya in Eurasia, west to central arctic Canada in North America. In the northwestern American material, there is a lack of well-defined 'cespitans' whereas it nearly dominates in eastern Canada and in much of Greenland. (Elven)  Poa arctica R. Br. subsp. williamsii (Nash) Hultén (1943), Lunds Univ. Årsskr., n. f., avd. 2, 38, 1: 202.

B P. williamsii Nash (1901), Bull. New York Bot. Gard. 2, 6: 151.





Comments:  Poa arctica R. Br. subsp. longiculmis Hultén (1943), Lunds Univ. Årsskr., n. f., avd. 2, 38, 1: 202.

S P. brintnellii Raup. (1947), Sargentia 6: 112.





37.22.7  Poa lanata Scribn. & Merr. (1910), Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 13: 72.

S P. arctica R. Br. subsp. lanata (Scribn. & Merr.) Soreng (1992), Phytologia 71: 395.

T [Described from the Aleutian Islands.]

2n= (1) 42. (2) 80.

2nD (1) ? (2) ?


Comments: See also P. malacantha.

(1) This entity is clearly different from the two major arctic entities ('arctica', 'cespitans') and we have to decide whether we shall recognise all the eight Beringian entities, if all shall be included in this aggregate, and whether each of them are to be recognised as species or subspecies. (Elven)

(2) The two chromosome numbers indicated in Tzvelev's draft are very far apart. (Elven)

WARNING! Might be reduced to subspecies.
37.22.8  Poa malacantha Kom. (1924), Bot. Mater. Gerb. Glavn. Bot. Sada RSFSR 5, 10: 148.

S P. komarovi Roshev. (1927), Izv. Glavn. Bot. Sada SSSR 26: 286.

T Russian Far East: Kamtchatka, subalpine meadows on Kashka River below the brook, 15.06.1909, leg. Komarov 2832 (LE) holotype.

2n= (1) 42 (5x). (2) 56 (8x). (3) c. 60-80.

2nD (1) Sokolovskaya (1963); Zhukova (1968). (2) Löve & Löve (1975) list six Russian counts, all as arctic. (3) Löve & Löve (1975) list 11 Russian counts, most as arctic.



(1) From the descriptions, the entities P. malacantha, P. platyantha and P. lanata seem to be very close and could perhaps be evaluated for merging. (Elven)

WARNING! Might be included in P. lanata or reduced to subspecies.

37.22.9  Poa platyantha Kom. (1924), Bot. Mater. Gerb. Glavn. Bot. Sada RSFSR 5, 10: 148.


2n= (1) 42 (6x). (2) 64. (3) 70-72. (4) 84 (12x).

2nD (1) Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968). (2) Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1973a). (3) Sokolovskaya (1963); Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968, 1973a). (4) Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1973a).


Comments: See also P. malacantha.

(1) Added tentatively to Tzvelev's draft as it is included by Fl. Arct. URSS and reported from Chukotka Peninsula (East Chukotka) and not mentioned in any synonymy in Tzvelev's draft. (Elven)

WARNING! Might be included in P. lanata or reduced to subspecies.
37.22.10  Poa almasovii Golub. (1936), Sist. Zam. Gerb. Tomsk. Univ. 4: 1.


T Russian Far East: Okhotsk coast, Nogaevo farm house, precipices of the coastal coniform hills, 1934, leg. Golub (TK), holotype.

2n= 56 (8x).

2nD Probatova (1974).



(1) Tzvelev's description (1976: 454) indicates that this might be some local hybridogenous populations, possibly not worthy of specific rank. (Elven)

WARNING! Will be excluded if not well justified, see comment.
37.22.11  Poa beringiana Probat. (1971), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 8: 34.


T Russian Far East: Komandor Islands, Medny Island, near village Preobrazhenskoe, slope near the mountain peak, 26.08.1965, leg. Probatova 532 (LE), holotype.

2n= 42 (6x).

2nD ?



(1) More information is needed before full acceptance of this taxon. (Elven)
37.22.12  Poa macrocalyx Trautv. & Mey. in Middend. (1856), Reise 1, 2: 103.

S P. hispidula Vasey (1893), Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 1: 273.

T Russian Far East: The Great Shantar Island, 08.1844, leg. Middendorff (LE), holotype.

2n= c.70 (10x).

2nD ?


37.22.13  Poa porsildii Gjærevoll (1957), K. Norske Vidensk. Selsk. Forh. 29, 16: 72.

S P. vaseyochloa auct., non Scribn. (1899).

T [Described from Alaska-Yukon.]





(1) A border case. The northernmost reported occurrence on the E side of Richardson Mts is in the North Alaska-Yukon region, if it is within the Arctic as defined. (Elven)

The Poa pratensis aggregate (P. angustifolia, P. humilis, P. pratensis, P. raduliformis, P. sublanata)


(1) Most taxa of the P. pratensis aggregate are more or less apomictic (Müntzing 1932, 1940 and many later studies), with both agamospermy and bulbil propagation. The limits between the listed entities are often unclear. It might be better to consider many of them as entities of lower rank than species. This is traditionally and currently done in NW Europe: P. pratensis subsp. pratensis, subsp. alpigena, subsp. angustifolia, and subsp. subcaerulea (P. humilis). See comments below. (Elven)
37.22.14  Poa pratensis L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67.



(1) The current approach to the P. pratensis complex in NW Europe is a partly artificial grouping into four entities, now mostly recognized as subspecies. The key characters are: lower glume one-veined - subsp. angustifolia and subsp. pratensis, three-veined - subsp. alpigena and subsp. subcaerulea. Then subsp. angustifolia is separated from subsp. pratensis by leaves of vegetative shoots very narrow and folded versus broader and flat, and panicle comparatively narrow with short lower branches and small spikelets versus pyramidal with longer lower branches and larger spikelets. Subsp. subcaerulea is separated from subsp. alpigena mainly by being much shorter, with short broad leaves, a broad pyramidal panicle with comparatively few but large spikelets, and typically with very distinct bluish bloom on spikelets and sometimes on other parts (lost in the herbaria). Applying these and a few other criteria, subsp. angustifolia becomes fairly homogeneous and consistent, subsp. subcaerulea and subsp. pratensis also more or less recognisable, whereas subsp. alpigena becomes very wide and heterogeneous, see below.

Tzvelev proposes to keep P. angustifolia and P. humilis as separate species. He proposes five subspecies of P. pratensis. Three of these I agree with, the fourth I have no knowledge of, and the fifth I disagree with. (Elven)  Poa pratensis L. subsp. pratensis


2n= 18-c.124.

2nD Conert (1998, 2n=18-c.124); Tzvelev (draft, 2n=52-70).



(1) As defined above, subsp. pratensis becomes a fairly southern plant. It is not assumed to be native in the Middle and North Boreal parts of Fennoscandia (see e.g. Hylander 1966, Hämet-Ahti et al. 1986, Elven in Lid & Lid 1994) but as it is among the most frequently used forage grasses it is introduced regularly. Strains of subsp. alpigena are also extensively cultivated for forage in northern areas and are much more persistent there than subsp. pratensis. All plants seen from Greenland, Svalbard and arctic mainland Norway   also the introduced ones   are excluded from subsp. pratensis in this meaning. The discrepancy in the distributional part, where subsp. pratensis is stated as introduced and perhaps casual in all Nordic, Greenlandic and American regions but as native in nearly all Russian regions, is obviously not a biological fact but a result of different understanding of this taxon. We must reach a common understanding of it before the checklist is finished. (Elven)  Poa pratensis L. subsp. alpigena (Fr. ex Blytt) Hiit. (1933), Suom. Kasvio 205.

B P. pratensis taxon alpigena Fr. ex Blytt (1861), Norges Fl. 130.

S P. alpigena (Fr. ex Blytt) Lindm. (1918), Sv. Fanerogamfl. 91.

T See comment (1).

2n= 28-95.

2nD Tzvelev (1976, 2n=35-95); Flovik (1940 Sb, 2n=35); Flovik (1938 Sb, 2n=42+4ff and 44, viviparous plants); Solokolskaya & Strelkova (1941 N Rus, 2n=56); Engelskjøn (1979, six counts in the range 2n=61-84 from C Norway and Svalbard for seminiferous plants); Sokolovskaya & Strelkova (1960 N Rus, 2n=70-72); Sokolovskaya & Strelkova (1941 N Rus, 2n=84).



(1) Blytt (1861: 130) had a fairly narrow concept when he described this taxon, here translated from the original Norwegian which might be difficult to read for most of you: "[taxon] alpigena. With narrow folded leaves; panicle narrow, 2-5 panicle branches in each node, smooth, sinuous; spikelets very small and purplish colored and usually 3-flowered." He also, at the same time, recognized a taxon rigens (as part of his taxon subcaerulea) and a taxon macrorrhiza which includes what now is considered as a major subalpine to low alpine type within alpigena.

Blytt refers to two publications in his protologue, Fries' Summa p. 76 (as P. pratensis alpestris) and Blytt's paper in Nyt Mag. Naturv. 1 (1838), but primarily he refers to Fries' exsiccate Herbarium Normale Fasc. 9, no. 93. A specimen from this must formally be chosen as type, if not already done. It is sometimes said that this taxon is described from "Svalbard, Spitzbergen, Liefdebay". This is erroneous as Blytt has no reference to Svalbard at all in the protologue but several and specific ones to the mainland Scandinavian plants. However, subsp. colpodea is described from Liefdefjord in Svalbard.

Quite another question is how we should delimit subsp. alpigena today. In his draft, Tzvelev recognizes three entities within the NW European concept of alpigena: alpigena s. str., rigens and colpodea. As to the last-mentioned, see comment under P. arctica and below. I am aware of the presence of numerous fairly distinct 'biotypes' within subsp. alpigena, but I am totally unable to group them into two main entites and name these as alpigena and rigens. I believe that we must be pragmatic and accept a very wide concept of this subspecies, including numerous more or less totally apomictic 'strains'. (Elven)

(3) The following names are accepted for Greenland material by Böcher et al. (1978) and must appear somewhere: var. iantha Laest., var. domestica Laest., var. rigens Laest., and var. gelida (Roem. & Schult.) Böcher. Synonymy? (Elven)  Poa pratensis L. subsp. colpodea (Th. Fr.) Tzvelev (1972), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 9: 47.

B P. stricta Lindeb. subsp. colpodea Th. Fr. (1869), Öfvers. Svenska Vet.-Akad. Förh. 26: 138.

S P. alpigena (Fr. ex Blytt) Lindm. var. colpodea (Th. Fr.) Scholander (1934), Skr. Svalb. Ishavet 62: 89; P. pratensis L. subsp. alpigena (Fr. ex Blytt) Lindm. var. colpodea (Th. Fr.) Soreng (1991), Phytologia 71: 403-404. Other synonyms are given in Tzvelev's draft but they do not seem to be currently applied names.

T [Described from Svalbard: Spitsbergen: Liefdebay.]

2n= (1) 42 (6x). (2) 51+5ff. (3) 56 (8x).

2nD (1) Zhukova & Petrovsky (1976). (2) Flovik (1938 Sb). (3) Zhukova & Petrovsky (1976).


Comments: See also comments under P. arctica.

(1) Haugen (2000) has compared subsp. colpodea in Svalbard with viviparous subsp. alpigena and P. arctica s. lat. She finds fairly consistent differences towards both, and the same is my experience from Svalbard and arctic Canada. I am therefore ready to accept this as a taxon at a fairly high level, even if it probably is a totally apomictic plant. It is distinct morphologically and enzymatically from its relatives and appears to be homogeneous through much of its range. The material I have seen is from northernmost Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Please check carefully the material behind reports from more southern areas (mainland Russia and Siberia, Chukotka, Alaska) as there are many other viviparous plants in the 'alpigena' affinity. I have therefore questioned the occurrences in SIB, RFE and ALA.

The var. vivipara of subsp. alpigena is much more frequent, at least in the North Atlantic area, than is subsp. colpodea. These plants also have morphologically close seminiferous counterparts whereas I know of no such counterpart for subsp. colpodea. (Elven)  Poa pratensis L. subsp. zhukoviae Jurtz. & Tzvelev (1980), Bot. Zhurn. 65: 1466.






(1) We need more information about this before acceptance. (Elven)  Poa pratensis L. subsp. rigens (Hartm.) Tzvelev (1972), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 9: 47.

B P. rigens Hartm. (1820), Handb. Skand. Fl. 448.

S P. pratensis L. subsp. alpigena (Fr. ex Blytt) Lindm. var. rigens (Hartm./Laest.) ***.

T [Described from N Sweden, probably Kvikkjokk, leg. Læstadius.]





(1) I am very reluctant to accept this subspecies and would prefer to include it under the synonymy of subsp. alpigena. See comment under that subspecies. (Elven)

WARNING! Will certainly be merged with subsp. alpigena and reduced to synonymy if not much better justified.
37.22.15  Poa humilis Ehrh. ex Hoffm. (1800), Deutschl. Fl., ed. 2, 1: 45.

S P. subcaerulea Sm. in Sowerby (1802), Engl. Bot. 14: t. 1004; P. pratensis L. subsp. subcaerulea (Sm.) Hiit. ***; P. irrigata Lindm. (1905), Bot. Not. 1905: 88; P. pratensis L. subsp. irrigata (Lindm.) Lindb. fil. (1916), Sched. Pl. Finl. Exsicc. 2: 20.

T ["Poa humilis, Upsaliae, Ehrhart", isotypes in LE.]

2n= 38-147.

2nD Löve & Löve (1956 Icel, 2n=38-117); Löve & Löve (1975) list several counts in the range 2n=48-147, partly as arctic; Tzvelev (1976, 2n=82-147).



(1) In northern and alpine Fennoscandia we have problems in clearly separating 'alpigena' and 'humilis'. I do not believe that we can draw as clear a boundary as we should if we propose species. I therefore propose treatment as subspecies of P. pratensis, and then subsp. irrigata probably has priority if it is possible to identify Lindman's P. irrigata with this entity. (Elven)

(2) I have seen material conforming well with this entity from Iceland, N Norway (frequent), N Kola Peninsula, Baffin-Labrador (Iqaluit 1999) and SW and SE Greenland (HbO). The report from Chukotka must be carefully checked against specimens as the entity seems to be amphi-Atlantic. (Elven)

WARNING! Might be reduced to a subspecies of P. pratensis.
37.22.16  Poa raduliformis Probat. (1971), Nov. Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 8: 25.


T Russian Far East: Amur area, Tyrma basin, Talaya River, hilly slopes, 04.06.1909, leg. Dokturovskii 165 (LE), holotype.

2n= 70 (10x).

2nD Sokolovskaya & Probatova in Tzvelev (1976).



(1) More information is needed about this entity before evaluation and acceptance. (Elven)
37.22.17  Poa angustifolia L. (1753), Sp. Pl. 67.

S P. pratensis L. subsp. angustifolia (L.) Gaudin (1811), Agrost. Helv. 1: 214.

2n= 46-c. 84.

2nD Conert (1998, 2n=c. 49-c. 84); Tzvelev (in draft, 2n=46-72).



(1) This is the most distinct entity in the P. pratensis aggregate in the N European area, and the variation seems to be discontinuous. I could therefore accept this as a species but it is thermophilous and probably not present as stable anywhere in the Arctic. (Elven)

WARNING! Will be excluded if not confirmed as stable in the Arctic.
37.22.18  Poa sublanata Reverd. (1934), Sist. Zam. Mat. Gerb. Tomsk. Univ. 2-3: 1.


T Siberia: Enisei, 6945', Leontievskii Island, sands, 31.07.1914, leg. Reverdatto (TK), holotype.

2n= (1) 56 (8x). (2) c.70 (10x).

2nD (1) Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968). (2) Sokolovskaya (1968); Sokolovskaya & Probatova (1968).



(1) See Fl. Arct. URSSS. Perhaps subspecies? (Elven)

WARNING! Might be reduced to subspecies of P. pratensis.

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