Kentucky Bluegrass — also known as Poa pratensis or Common Meadow Grass — is the most popular planting grass in the United States. It can be found in lawns in every state because it can grow easily almost anywhere and can withstand cold temperatures.

You may be thinking, “I’ve seen a lot of grass and none of it’s blue!” You’re right. Kentucky Bluegrass is a funny name, as it turns out, because it didn’t come from Kentucky and lawns of Kentucky Bluegrass are green, not blue.

Although it’s the most popular grass in North America, Kentucky Bluegrass isn’t native to North America. Instead, it’s native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. European settlers most likely brought it with them when they settled in North America.

Kentucky Bluegrass forms beautiful, lush green lawns. Its root system interweaves in a way that makes it particularly dense.

When you think of walking barefoot on a beautiful carpet of green grass, it’s Kentucky Bluegrass you’re thinking of. Kentucky Bluegrass is used often in parks and to create sports fields, too.

In the summer, Kentucky Bluegrass will grow about one to two inches per week in normal weather conditions. Experts recommend mowing regularly to keep Kentucky Bluegrass lawns at a height of about two inches for an ideal lawn.

Kentucky Bluegrass is not named for its leaves because they’re always green. Since it’s used mainly for lawns and kept short, it always appears green.

If, however, you let Kentucky Bluegrass grow to its natural height of two to three feet, you’ll notice clusters of small blue flowers that blossom at the tops of the stems.

The Kentucky part of Kentucky Bluegrass came about as a result of Europeans naming the northern part of modern-day Kentucky the Bluegrass Region, because of the huge meadows of blue-flowered grass that grew there. If you’re lucky enough to find a field of Kentucky Bluegrass that has grown to its natural height, you’ll definitely see where the name bluegrass comes from!

Today, more than 100 varieties of Kentucky Bluegrass have been developed. Since the 1950s, nearly all Kentucky Bluegrass seed has been produced by specialized farms in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

 

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    • We love bluegrass, too, Jusin (the stuff in the ground AND the stuff with the sound)! Thanks so much for commenting today! :-)

    • We think bluegrass ROCKS, too, Sunnibee! Thanks for visiting another Wonder in Wonderopolis today and for leaving us this comment to let us know you were here! :-)

  1. I think bluegrass rocks! In where I live (Ohio), there is a region called Bluegrass and there is a street called bluegrass. :D

    • Thanks for sharing about the Bluegrass street and region in Ohio, Julie! We enjoy learning new things here in Wonderopolis, and we think YOU ROCK for helping us do that today! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Is bluegrass really blue?
  • Where did Kentucky Bluegrass come from?
  • What is the most popular type of grass in America?

Wonder Gallery

bluegrass in field_shutterstock_34418362Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Get out of the house and observe grass in its natural environment! Whether in your own backyard or a neighborhood park, take some time to pay closer attention to the grass that acts as “nature’s carpet” all around you.

How many different types of grass can you find? What differences do you see? Are some blades of grass shaped differently than others? Are some grasses greener than others?

If you want, pick a few samples to bring home with you. Tape them to pieces of paper or note cards, and then use a magnifying glass to compare the different types of grasses close-up!

If the weather isn’t cooperating today, don’t worry. Stay inside and try one of these grassy craft projects instead:

 

Still Wondering

Extend your learning about color with ReadWriteThink’s Color My World: Expanding Meaning Potential through Media lesson. You’ll examine the work of an illustrator and experiment with drawing materials to discover how different media affect the outcome of a drawing and help construct meaning.

 

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