Poa bulbosa Linn., Sp. Pl. 1:70. 1753. Boiss. Fl. Or. 5:605.1884; Stapf in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:338.1896; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 2:197.1959; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 556.1960; Bor in Towns., Guest & Al-Rawi, Fl. Iraq 9:114.1968; Bor in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 70:23.1970; Tzvelev, Poaceae URSS 449.1976; Edmondson in Tutin et al., Fl. Fur. 5:165.1980.
Tufted perennial; culms 15–40cm high, erect or geniculately ascending, clothed at the base with the hardened remains of old leaf-sheaths forming a bulbous swelling. Leaf-blades flat or folded, mostly basal, 2–10cm long, (0.5–)1–2 mm wide, abruptly contracted to a hooded tip, smooth or scaberulous; ligule acute, 1-3mm long. Panicle ovate, 2–6(–9)cm long, compact; branches paired, ascending, scabrid. Spikelets 2–6–flowered, ovate-oblong, 3–6mm long, often tinged with purple; glumes subequal, broadly ovate, 2–3mm long, the lower 1–nerved, the upper 3–nerved; lemmas oblong–lanceolate in side-view, 2.5–3.5mm long, acute, ciliate on the keel and marginal nerves or sometimes ± glabrous, usually densely woolly at the base; palea almost as long as the lemma, scabrid along the keels; anthers 1–1.5mm long.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: April-July.
Type locality: France.
Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir); Europe, South-west and Central Asia.
The description above applies to non-viviparous forms of Bulbous Meadow grass although in our area nearly all specimens exhibit vivipary (proliferation of parts of the spikelet in which the glumes and lemmas develop leaf-blades and the whole spikelet assumes the function of a vegetative propagule). The amount of wool at the base of the lemma is disconcertingly variable and is entirely absent in viviparous spikelets. In the latter case it is extremely difficult to distinguish the plants from viviparous Poa sinaica. However, this species rarely proliferates in our area. Proliferating specimens of Poa bulbosa are usually-referred to as var. vivipara Koel, Descr. Gram. 189.1902.
Poa bulbosa is a mesophytic grass, a feature which can help to distinguish it from the xerophytic Poa sinaica, and forms a large part of the available pasture in high alpine meadows. 1000-3700 m.