Panarctic Flora


342603a Poa arctica subsp. arctica


Northern Fennoscandia: Scattered
Kanin - Pechora: Frequent
Svalbard - Franz Joseph Land: Frequent
Polar Ural - Novaya Zemlya: Frequent
Yamal - Gydan: Frequent
Taimyr - Severnaya Zemlya: Frequent
Anabar - Onenyo: Frequent
Kharaulakh: Frequent
Yana - Kolyma: Frequent
West Chukotka: Frequent
Wrangel Island: Frequent
South Chukotka: Frequent
East Chukotka: Frequent
Western Alaska: Frequent
Northern Alaska - Yukon: Frequent
Central Canada: Frequent
Hudson Bay - Labrador: Frequent
Ellesmere Island: Scattered
Western Greenland: Frequent
Eastern Greenland: Frequent
Polar desert: Scattered
Northern arctic Tundra: Frequent
Mid Arctic Tundra: Frequent
Southern Arcti Tundra: Frequent
Shrub Tundra: Frequent
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Scattered


2n= 42-74 (6x-ca. 11x). - Tzvelev (1976, PAF proposal), based on very numerous reports.

Geography: Circumpolar-alpine: NOR RUS SIB RFE ALA CAN GRL.

Notes: Nannfeldt (1940) accepted six minor races within Poa arctica (as subspecies by Nannfeldt 1940, as varieties by Hylander 1953b) in Fennoscandia and Iceland, as parts of the larger variation which he left undivided. A seventh race, his unpublished subsp. wahlenbergii (annotations in herbaria), was the only race reaching the Arctic in Norway. Except for subsp. caespitans, we do not accept these races as worthwhile taxa, and as the published taxa are non-arctic we do not include them in the synonymy above.

Viviparous (bulbil-reproducing) plants have been reported within P. arctica subsp. arctica. In Svalbard, viviparous plants with the general appearance of P. arctica are about as frequent as are seminiferous plants. A re-evaluation of these viviparous plants in 2010 (Elven and Alsos) showed that a main diagnostic character of P. arctica s. lat. vs. P. pratensis s. lat., presence of hairs or setae between the veins on the lemmas, was absent in the viviparous plants. We now suspect that viviparous plants may be a hybridogeneous swarm between P. arctica (subsp. arctica) and P. pratensis (subsp. alpigena).

Higher Taxa