Jepson eFlora
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Festuca

View taxon page for Festuca

1. Inflorescence 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' Inflorescence 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. Leaf 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' Leaf 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 herb; stamens generally 3 (subg. Festuca)

10. Leaf sheath closed, ± red, hairs ± downward-pointing ..... F. rubra

10' Leaf 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. Leaf 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' Leaf 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. Inflorescence branches at lowest node 0–1; ovary tip glabrous ..... F. brachyphylla subsp. breviculmis

21' Inflorescence 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, [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].
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