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Festuca californica
CALIFORNIA FESCUE

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.
Genus: FestucaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: FESCUE, RYE GRASS
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

Festuca californica Vasey
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb. Stem: 4.5--12 dm, densely clumped; nodes visible. Leaf: sheath +- scabrous, conspicuously persisting; collar generally densely hairy, rarely glabrous; ligule 0.5--1.5(4) mm; blade 10--100 cm, 1.8--3.5 mm wide, flat or rolled, scabrous. Inflorescence: 10--27 cm, open; spikelets borne near branch tips. Spikelet: 13--18 mm; lower glume 4.5--7 mm, upper 6--8 mm; florets 4--6; lemma 7.5--11 mm, glabrous, awn 1.5--2.5 mm; anthers 4.5--5 mm; ovary tip hairy. Chromosomes: 2n=56.
Ecology: Dry, open forest, moist streambanks, chaparral; Elevation: < 1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n&c SN, CW, SnBr; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: If recognized taxonomically: smaller plants with +- glabrous collars in SnBr assignable to Festuca californica var. parishii (Piper) Hitchc. [Festuca californica subsp. parishii (Piper) Darbysh.]; plants in Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo cos. with longer ligules that generally lack cilia assignable to Festuca californica subsp. hitchcockiana (E.B. Alexeev) Darbysh.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr. & Susan G. Aiken
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Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. & Susan G. Aiken 2016. Festuca californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=25791, accessed on July 24, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on July 24, 2016.


Festuca californica
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Festuca californica
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Festuca californica
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Festuca californica
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© 2009 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Festuca californica
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Festuca californica
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© 1990 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Festuca californica in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Festuca californica:
NW, CaR, n&c SN, CW, SnBr;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.