What is Kentucky bluegrass?

Turfgrass Quick Facts: Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

Individual Kentucky bluegrass plant with seed head an rhizomes.
Source: Veldbeemdgras Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0
typical Kentucky bluegrass turf
Photo credit: eXtension.org: Gardens, Lawns, and Landscapes CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most popular cool season turfgrasses in the United States. Its dark green leaf color and superior traffic tolerance makes it a top choice for the residential and recreational landscape.

Kentucky bluegrass is more drought tolerant than many people realize due to its strong dormancy period during hot dry spells. It will, however, turn brown in summer without supplemental water.

Kentucky bluegrass characteristics

  • Native of Europe and North Africa
  • Boat shaped leaf
  • Dark green color
  • Densely sod forming
  • Tolerates heavy use
  • Proper fertilization
  • Strong summer dormancy period
  • “Boat” shaped leaf tip


In Depth Resources:


Colorado – Drought Tolerance of Kentucky bluegrass
Utah – Kentucky bluegrass


Iowa – Selecting Kentucky bluegrass Varieties


North Carolina – Bluegrass, Kentucky


Texas – Kentucky bluegrass