E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Festuca viridula Vasey
green fescue (greenleaf fescue)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66825)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Festuca viridula
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial, densely tufted grass from fibrous roots, forming small clumps; stems (35) 50-100 cm tall, with visible nodes.
Sheaths not conspicuous at the base of the stems as they tend to turn brown early, remaining entire, not shredding into fibres; blades 10-25 cm long, 0.8-2.5 mm wide, flat or loosely folded; ligules 0.2-0.5 mm long.
Inflorescence an open panicle, 4-12 (15) cm long, the branches 1.5-3 cm long; spikelets (2-) 3- to 6- (7-) flowered, 9-12 (15) mm long; lower glumes (2.4) 3.5-5 mm long, the upper ones 4.5-6 (7.5) mm long; lemmas (5.5) 6.5-8 mm long, sharp-pointed or awned or awnless, if awned then the awns 0.5-1.4 mm long; anthers (2) 3-4 (5) mm long; ovary tops hairy.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadow slopes in the upper subalpine and alpine zones; infrequent in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in S BC south of 50 degrees N; E to AB and S to MT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Festuca viridula

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1330 2082 2515
Slope Gradient (%) 5 39 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
7 207 315
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(26), MS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Festuca howellii Hack. ex Beal

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References