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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Letterman's Bluegrass - Poa lettermanii

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Collections at MONTU from DeerLodge, Ravalli, Silver Bow counties in the Anaconda-Pintler, Butte Highlands and Beartooth Mts. Many collections recent. >10 collections. Probably undercollected due to minute stature and because it grows at high alpine, inaccessible sites. Probably secure, but its abundance is uncertain.
General Description
Perennial bunchgrass. Stems 2–10 cm. Leaves: blades 0.5–2 mm wide; ligules 1–3 mm long. Inflorescence a contracted panicle 1–3 cm long. Spikelets 3–4 mm long. Lemmas hairless, keeled (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from other alpine species of Poa in MT by its glabrous to scabrous lemmas, very broad florets and the glume length, which equals at least the first lemma.

Species Range

Range Comments
Throughout western North America (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Grows mostly in high alpine tundra.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Letterman's Bluegrass — Poa lettermanii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from