A rhizomatous perennial herb of rough or stony ground, cinders, dry grassy banks, waysides and walls. Some populations on rubbish tips and waste ground are probably introductions from wool shoddy and other sources. Generally lowland, but reaching 365 m at Mallerstang (Westmorland).
There is no reliable information on trends in the distribution of P. compressa, and it is not possible to make a clear distinction between native and introduced populations, particularly in Scotland. It is regarded as alien in Ireland (Scannell & Synnott, 1987). The species is sometimes confused with other Poa species, particularly P. humilis, and is probably under-recorded.
European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
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