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Festuca
FESCUE, RYE GRASS

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: GRASS FAMILY
Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; 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; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.

Festuca
Habit: 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 3--5(7)-veined, base generally glabrous, tip entire, occasionally minutely 2-toothed, awn 0 or terminal, generally straight, glabrous; palea +- = lemma; stamens 3 or 1. Fruit: obovoid to elongate, free from or +- adhering to palea and lemma.
Species In Genus: 500+ species: cosmopolitan. Etymology: (Latin: straw, stem or straw-like weed) Note: As treated here, including ×Festulpia, ×Festulolium, Leucopoa, Lolium, ×Schedolium, ×Schedololium, Schedonorus, and Vulpia. Lolium rigidum Gaudin (combination in Festuca evidently not available), native to Europe and Africa, has been found sporadically as an urban and agricultural weed, but has not been collected in recent years and is doubtfully naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr. & Susan G. Aiken
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Festuca

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Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. & Susan G. Aiken 2016. Festuca, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=11066, accessed on February 14, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on February 14, 2016.


Festuca californica
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© 2009 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Festuca kingii
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© 2012 Steve Matson
Festuca kingii
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© 2012 Steve Matson
Festuca occidentalis
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Festuca pratensis
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Festuca perennis
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© 2004 Carol W. Witham

More photos of Festuca in CalPhotos