Blue fescue Festuca glauca, from here.

Belongs within: Pooideae.

Festuca, the fescues, is a genus of grasses found in temperate parts of the world. Many species are commercially significant as grazing or lawn grasses; they are often favoured in revegetation programmes for their ability to establish on bare ground. Plants are bisexual in the subgenus Festuca but species of the genus Leucopoa are dioecious (Hickman 1993).

Characters (from Lu, Chen & Aiken): Perennials, tufted, shoots extra- or intra-vaginal. Leaf sheath margins usually free, rarely connate, sometimes with auricles; leaf blades folded to conduplicate and filiform, sometimes flat; ligule membranous. Inflorescence an open, contracted or spikelike panicle. Spikelets with 2 to several florets, uppermost floret usually reduced; rachilla usually scabrid, rarely smooth or pubescent; disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes usually unequal, herbaceous to scarious, rarely subleathery, lower glume often small, 1-veined, upper glume usually shorter than lowest lemma, 3(–5)-veined; lemmas usually similar in texture to glumes, often subleathery at least with age, usually more or less laterally compressed but not keeled, rounded on back at least toward base, usually 5-veined, veins sometimes prominent, apex acuminate, entire or notched, awned or awnless; palea subequal to lemma, keels scabrid, rarely smooth. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous or hairy on top. Caryopsis oblong or linear, usually ventrally sulcate, usually free from lemma and palea, hilum long-linear. x = 7.

    |--F. subg. Festuca H93
    |    |--F. arundinacea H93
    |    |--F. brachyphylla H93
    |    |    |--F. b. ssp. brachyphylla H93
    |    |    `--F. b. ssp. breviculmis H93
    |    |--F. californica H93
    |    |--F. elmeri [incl. F. elmeri ssp. luxurians] H93
    |    |--F. idahoensis H93
    |    |--F. minutiflora H93
    |    |--F. occidentalis H93
    |    |--F. pratensis [incl. F. elatior] H93
    |    |--F. rubra H93
    |    |    |--F. r. var. rubra V72
    |    |    `--F. r. var. commutata V72
    |    |--F. saximontana H93
    |    |    |--F. s. var. saximontana H93
    |    |    `--F. s. var. purpusiana H93
    |    |--F. subulata H93
    |    |--F. subuliflora H93
    |    |--F. trachyphylla H93
    |    `--F. viridula H93
    `--F. subg. Leucopoa H93
         |--‘Leucopoa’ albida O88
         `--F. kingii [=Hesperochloa kingii, Leucopoa kingii] H93

Festuca incertae sedis:
  F. acanthophylla [incl. F. erecta var. aristulata] S06
  F. alpina PS98
  F. amplissima RJ11
  F. arizonia SF98
  F. calchaquiensis Hackel in Stuckert 1906 S06
  F. callieri (Hack. ex St.-Yves) Markgr. 1933 PL04
  F. cinerea M08
  F. commersonii D03
  F. contracta Kirk 1895 C06
  F. coxii (Petrie) Hackel in Cheeseman 1906 [=Agropyrum coxii] C06
  F. dissitiflora Steud. 1829 S06
    |--F. d. var. dissitiflora S06
    `--F. d. var. loricata S06
  F. erecta H66
  F. eriostoma Hackel 1902 S06
  F. gigantea SF98
  F. glauca SF98
  F. gracillana SB06
  F. guestfalica RZ96
  F. hieronymi S06
    |--F. h. f. hieronymi S06
    `--F. h. f. panicula-expansa S06
  F. leptopogon KYK07
  F. littoralis C06 [=Schedonorus littoralis C06; incl. S. billardierianus B78, Arundo trioidioides B78]
    |--F. l. var. littoralis B78
    `--‘Schedonorus’ l. var. triticoides [=Festuca triticoides] B78
  F. longifolia SF98
  F. multinodis A27
  F. myurus Lin. 1753 S06
  F. obtusa SF98
  F. octiflora EBS98
  F. ovina [incl. F. ovina var. duriuscula] V72
    |--F. o. var. ovina C06
    |--F. o. var. matthewsii Hackel 1903 C06
    `--F. o. var. novae-zealandiae Hackel 1903 C06
  F. paradoxa SF98
  F. pilosa C55
  F. polycolea O88
    |--F. p. var. polycolea O88
    `--F. p. var. brevis O88
  F. pseudovina CS77
  F. purpurascens D03
  F. quadridentata S06
  F. rigida [=Sclerochloa rigida] B78
  F. scabrella [incl. F. scabrella var. major] V72
  F. sciuroides S06
  F. setifolia S06
    |--F. s. f. setifolia S06
    `--F. s. f. mutica Hackel in Stuckert 1906 S06
  F. tenuifolia [incl. F. capillata (nom. illeg.)] V72
  F. undata O88
    |--F. u. var. undata O88
    `--F. u. var. aristata O88 [=F. duriuscula var. aristata B78]
  F. uninodis Hackel in Stuckert 1906 S06
  F. versuta SF98
  F. vivipara CS77

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A27] Andersen, J. C. 1927. Popular names of New Zealand plants. Part 2. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 905–977.

[B78] Bentham, G. 1878. Flora Australiensis: A description of the plants of the Australian Territory vol. 7. Roxburghiaceae to Filices. L. Reeve & Co.: London.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[EBS98] Elliott, K. J., L. R. Boring & W. T. Swank. 1998. Changes in vegetation structure and diversity after grass-to-forest succession in a southern Appalachian watershed. American Midland Naturalist 140: 219–232.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[H66] Hirschmann, W. 1966. Gangsystematik der Parasitiformes. Teil 15. Gänge von Litoralmilben und neue Litoralmilbenarten. Acarologie: Schriftenreihe für Vergleichende Milbenkunde 9: 25–44.

[KYK07] Khan, M. R., P. S. Yadava & A. Kikim. 2007. Additions to the flora of Manipur. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 215–218.

[M08] Marstaller, R. 2008. Moosgesellschaften am Südrand des Kyffhäusergebirges bei Bad Frankenhausen (Kyffhäuserkreis). 130. Beitrag zur Moosvegetation Thüringens. Mauritiana 20 (2): 289–348.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209–223.

[PS98] Prosser, F., & S. Scortegagna. 1998. Primula recubariensis, a new species of Primula sect. Auricula Duby endemic to the SE Prealps, Italy. Willdenowia 28: 27–46.

[RJ11] Rising, J. D., A. Jaramillo, J. L. Copete, P. G. Ryan & S. C. Madge. 2011. Family Emberizidae (buntings and New World sparrows). In: Hoyo, J. del, A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 16. Tanagers to New World Blackbirds pp. 428–683. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona.

[RZ96] Russell, D. J., U. Zeller, M. Kratzmann & G. Alberti. 1996. The mite fauna of continental sand dunes in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany. In: Mitchell, R., D. J. Horn, G. R. Needham & W. C. Welbourn (eds) Acarology IX vol. 1. Proceedings pp. 75–80. Ohio Biological Survey: Columbus (Ohio).

[SF98] Saikkonen, K., S. H. Faeth, M. Helander & T. J. Sullivan. 1998. Fungal endophytes: a continuum of interactions with host plants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29: 319–343.

[SB06] Sarno, R. J., M. S. Bank, H. S. Stern & W. L. Franklin. 2006. Effects of age, sex, season, and social dynamics on juvenile guanaco subordinate behavior. Journal of Mammalogy 87 (1): 41–47.

[S06] Stuckert, T. 1906. Segunda contribución al conocimiento de las gramináceas Argentinas. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 409–555.

[V72] Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium.

Last updated: 4 January 2022.

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