We noticed some seedlings emerging from the flower head of an unidentified grass flower head yesterday. None of us had seen this before and we wondered how common it was and if it is more prevalent under certain conditions. How common is this? Also are these sprouts, which would either drop singularly or attached to the seed head when it drops, as vigorous as seed germinating in or on the soil?

Below are photos for anyone who thinks they might be able to ID.

vivivaporous grass flower

viviparous grass plant


  • What type of answer are you looking for? I don't think I'll be able to find statistics. Also, the 'unidentified grass' isn't helpful. Can you post an identification question and find out what it is?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 21:21
  • Unfortunately we didn't get any photos, but after some research it looks like it might have been poa bulbosa - which usually does this. Should I close this question?
    – That Idiot
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 11:48
  • Don't close the question. Rather, post and accept your own answer, stating what species you think it is, and that this is normal for the species. Posting an example photo will be beneficial, as well as linking to a database for the species.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 0:30
  • 1
    Well i dont think it's Poa bulbosa anymore... So im hoping for someones ID. I did find that some fescues will exhibit vivipary when grown in harsh conditions, but i don't have an "answer" yet.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 16:02
  • 1
    Several species of poa produce plantlets instead of seeds on some inflorescence, Poa bulbosa, as noted above, as well as P. alpina. Where were these found (coordinates or nearest inhabited area).
    – user17739
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


I can't help with the ID but IF mostly you are waiting for a reply to the other of your two inquiries, this will give you an opportunity to close the question.

The structures are stolons. See a description at Transplanting and dissecting clump grass. Reproduction by both seed and stolon, as your plants exhibit, is common among grasses. So while that will narrow the suspects slightly, it won't help a lot with identification.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.