Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

POACEAE

GRASS FAMILY

James P. Smith, Jr., except as specified

Annual to bamboo-like; roots generally fibrous
Stem generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid
Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear; sheath generally open; ligule membranous or hairy, at blade base
Inflorescence various (of generally many spikelets)
Spikelet: glumes generally 2; florets (lemma, palea, flower) 1–many; lemma generally membranous, sometimes glume-like; palea generally ± transparent, ± enclosed by lemma
Flower generally bisexual, minute; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose
Fruit: achene-like grain
Genera in family: 650–900 genera; ± 10,000 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1951 Manual grasses US, USDA Misc Publ 200; Clayton & Renvoise 1986 Kew Bull Add Series 13]
See Glossary p. 26 for illustrations of general family characteristics. Generally wind-pollinated.

FESTUCA

FESCUE

Susan G. Aiken

Perennial, generally cespitose, generally ± glabrous; bisexual, dioecious in F. kingii
Stem erect
Leaves ± basal; sheath generally persisting; collar generally glabrous; ligule generally < 1 mm, membranous, truncate, minutely fringed; blade flat or rolled, basal lobes generally 0
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches dense and appressed to open and spreading
Spikelet: glumes < lowest floret, unequal, lower 1–3-veined, upper 3–5-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets, florets 2–10, generally bisexual; lemma base generally glabrous, 5-veined (rarely 3- or 7-veined), not converging at tip; awn generally terminal, straight, glabrous; palea ± = lemma; stamens 3
Fruit free from palea, generally beakless
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Frederiksen 1982 Nord J Bot 2:525–536]

Native

F. rubra L.

RED FESCUE

Rhizomes generally present, sometimes very short
Stems 3–8 dm, ± clumped, decumbent at base; nodes visible
Leaf: sheath closed, ± reddish, shredding with age, hairs ± downward-pointing; ligule < 0.5 mm; blade 5–30 cm, < 3 mm wide, ± folded
Inflorescence 5–20 cm, ± open; branches ± ascending
Spikelet 9–12 mm; lower glume 2.5–3.5 mm, upper 3.5–5.5 mm; florets 3–10; lemma 5–7 mm, sometimes scabrous near tip, awn < 4 mm, scabrous; anthers 2.5–4 mm; ovary tip glabrous
Chromosomes: 2n=14,28,42,56,70,128
Ecology: Sand dunes, grassland, subalpine forest
Elevation: generally < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, n&c Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Transverse Ranges, White and Inyo Mountains
Distribution outside California: worldwide
Flowering time: May–Jul
Some commercial cultivars much naturalized in CA. Distinct forms occur in NCo on sand dunes, ocean bluffs, in salt marshes
Horticultural information: IRR: 1, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 24 &part SHD: 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; CVS: GRCVR.

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