The rough at Biltmore is always a challenge. One type of grass that we have never planted but has dominated the peat ground is Poa trivialis or commonly called Roughstalk Bluegrass. It most likely came to Biltmore as a contaminate of grass seed, this was very common in the early days of seed production, but not as much now. This should not be confused with Kentucky Bluegrass or Poa annua, all three are very different grasses.
Poa trivialis (Roughstalk Bluegrass) likes: shady, wet areas. When it gets hot, goes dormant or to the layman "dies" and lays flat in a matted dead appearance. It looks dead, but it is not. It is just waiting for things to cool down/ and get wet. It can tolerate sunny areas, but does best in shade. It is very thatchy because it spreads by stolons making it difficult to advance a shot from. It can also not handle wear or traffic like Bluegrass.
Poa pratensis (Kentucky Bluegrass) likes: sunny, well drained areas. It can handle very hot weather and can also go dormant during dry times but when it does, stays standing up. Much easier to advance a shot from - a bunch type grass.
As their scientific name implies, they are both in the same Genus but have very different "likes" and growth habits. Poa trivialis is a weed of golf courses (along with it's cousin Poa annua) and both are never intended to be planted.
For more information check these links:
Ohio State - Poa trivialis
GCSAA - Poa trivialis
Sugar Creek Golf Course Blog
Wikipedia Poa trivialis
|Poa trivialis still green under the tree. Most likely next year the Poa will go dormant during a hot period, typically late August.|
|This Bluegrass covered stump (between #2 and #9) with Poa trivialis thinning on the North side of the tree.|