|University of California, Berkeley|
|Directory News Site Map Home|
Key to families | Table of families and genera
This text currently parallels The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition that is now available at the University of California Press.
Text appearing in blue on this page will not appear in the printed book; it will be displayed only on the Web. Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Annual, perennial herb, loosely to densely cespitose, generally ± glabrous, rhizomes present or 0; bisexual, dioecious in Festuca kingii.
Stem: decumbent, ascending to erect, to 2 m.
Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath generally persisting; collar generally glabrous; ligule generally < 1 mm, membranous, truncate, minutely fringed; blade flat or rolled, claw-like basal auricles generally 0.
Inflorescence: panicle-like, branches dense and appressed to open and spreading or spike-like.
Spikelet: glumes 2, < lowest floret, unequal, lower sometimes minute, 1–3-veined, upper 3–5-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets, florets (1)2–10(17), generally bisexual; lemma base generally glabrous, 3–5(7)-veined, not converging at tip; awn (when present) generally terminal, straight, glabrous; palea ± = lemma; stamens 3 or 1.
Fruit: obovoid to elongate, free from or ± adhering to palea and lemma.
500+ species: cosmopolitan. (Latin: straw, stem or straw-like weed) [Darbyshire 2007 FNANM 24:443–448; Darbyshire & Pavlick 2007 FNANM 24:389–443; Lonard 2007 FNANM 24:448–454] As treated here, including ×Festulpia, ×Festulolium, Leucopoa, Lolium, ×Schedolium, ×Schedololium, Schedonorus, and Vulpia. Festuca rigida (Gaudin) Columbus & J.P. Smith [Lolium rigidum Gaudin], native to Eur & Africa, has been found sporadically as an urban and agricultural weed, but has not been collected in recent yrs and is doubtfully naturalized.
Unabridged references: [Aiken et al. 1996 onwards @ http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/festuca/index.htm [broken 21.vii.2010]; Lonard & Gould 1974 Madroño 22:217–230; Wilson 1999 Ph.D. Dissertation Oregon State Univ]
1. Infl spike-like (sometimes sparingly branched); glume 1 except 0 in uppermost spikelet (subg. Lolium)
2. Glume < rest of spikelet; lower lemma firmly membranous, flat to rounded at base ..... F. perennis
2' Glume >= rest of spikelet; lower lemma becoming hard and thick at base ..... F. temulenta
1' Infl panicle-like, branches dense and appressed to open and spreading, or raceme-like; glumes 2, lower sometimes minute
3. Dioecious; spikelets staminate or pistillate; reduced, sterile pistils sometimes present (subg. Leucopoa) ..... F. kingii
3' Bisexual; florets generally bisexual
4. Lf blade with prominent claw-like or clasping basal auricles (subg. Schedonorus)
5. Auricles hairy (sometimes reduced to only 1 or 2 hairs); lemma generally minutely hairy, awn 0.5–4 mm or 0 ..... F. arundinacea
5' Auricles glabrous; lemma generally smooth, awn << 0.5 mm or 0 ..... F. pratensis
4' Lf blade generally without prominent claw-like, clasping basal auricles (inconspicuous flap-like auricles sometimes present)
6. Annual; stamen 1 (subg. Vulpia)
7. Lower glume generally < 2 mm, < 1/2 upper glume, sometimes minute ..... F. myuros
7' Lower glume generally > 3 mm, > 1/2 upper glume (2–3 mm, < 1/2 upper glume in some Festuca microstachys)
8. Florets (5)7–12, closely overlapping, spikelet axis hidden; lemma awn 0.5–5 mm ..... F. octoflora
8' Florets generally 1–7, loosely overlapping, spikelet axis visible, each internode > 1 mm; lemma awn 3.5–12 mm
9. Lowest inflorescence branches appressed to erect at maturity; branches without basal swellings ..... F. bromoides
9' Lowest inflorescence branches spreading or reflexed at maturity; branches with basal swellings ..... F. microstachys
6' Perennial; stamens generally 3 (subg. Festuca)
10. Lf sheath closed, ± red, hairs ± downward-pointing ..... F. rubra
10' Lf sheath open at least 1/2 its length, generally green, glabrous or hairy, hairs not downward-pointing
11. Florets long-stalked, spikelet axis jointed below florets ..... F. subuliflora
11' Florets not long-stalked, spikelet axis not jointed
12. Lf blade generally (1)2–10 mm wide, flat or rolled longitudinally
13. Collar generally densely hairy (glabrous); lemma awn (0)1.5–2.5 mm, generally < 1/3 lemma; plants densely cespitose, with persistent dead leaf sheaths at base ..... F. californica (2)
13' Collar glabrous; lemma awn 2–20 mm, generally > 1/3 lemma; plants loosely cespitose, dead leaf sheaths inconspicuous or 0
14. Lemma distinctly 5-veined, awned from between 2 short teeth ..... F. elmeri
14' Lemma indistinctly veined, awn terminal ..... F. subulata
12' Lf blade < 2.5 mm wide, folded or rolled inward toward upper side
15. Collar generally densely hairy, rarely glabrous; plants densely cespitose, with persistent dead leaf sheaths at base ..... F. californica (2)
15' Collar glabrous; plants loosely to densely cespitose, without persistent dead leaf sheaths at base (except Festuca idahoensis)
16. Lemma awns 3–12 mm
17. Ovary tip glabrous; awn < lemma body; leaf blade often glaucous or ± blue ..... F. idahoensis
17' Ovary tip hairy; awn generally > lemma body; leaf blade green ..... F. occidentalis
16' Lemma awns 0–2.5 mm
18. Spikelets 9–12 mm; lower cauline leaf blades much shorter and stiffer than the upper ..... F. viridula
18' Spikelets 2.5–9 mm; upper and lower cauline leaf blades similar
19. Anthers when dry 2–3.5 mm; plants of forested sites, generally 1100–1800 m ..... F. trachyphylla
19' Anthers when dry 0.5–2 mm; plants of subalpine or lower alpine habitats, generally > 3000 m
20. Anthers 0.9–1.2 mm when dry ..... F. saximontana
20' Anthers 0.4–0.8(0.9) mm when dry
21. Infl branches at lowest node 0–1; ovary tip glabrous ..... F. brachyphylla subsp. breviculmis
21' Infl branches at lowest node (1)2 or 3; ovary tip sparsely short-hairy ..... F. minutiflora
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.