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

Vulpia octoflora (Walter) Rydb.
six-weeks grass (sixweeks fescue; six-weeks fescue)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25172)

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Distribution of Vulpia octoflora
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Species Information

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Annual, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems sometimes solitary, erect (sometimes bent or angled at the lower nodes), (3) 6-30 (60) cm tall.
Sheaths smooth or the lower ones usually short-hairy with the hairs directed downward; blades flat or rolled, smooth or short-hairy, to 1 mm wide; ligules 0.2-0.7 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrowly erect panicle (sometimes reduced to a raceme), (1) 2-7 (20) cm long; spikelets 4-10 mm long (excluding the awns), 5- to 11- (17-) flowered, the florets closely overlapping; glumes smooth or short-hairy, the lower glumes 1- to 3-nerved, (1.7) 2-4.5 mm long, the upper glumes 3-nerved, (2.7) 3.5-5.5 (6.7) mm long; lemmas smooth or short-hairy, lanceolate, 2.7-5 (6.5) mm long, the terminal awns (0.3) 1.5-4.5 (9) mm long; rachilla internodes usually 0.5-0.7 mm long; anthers 1 (rarely 2 or 3), (0.3) 1-3.3 mm long.
Three poorly separated varieties are sometimes recognized on the basis of floret size and hairiness. All of these phases can be found in BC.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry slopes and plains, open forests, roadsides and disturbed areas in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in SC and SE BC; E to PQ and NB and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, FL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, CA and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vulpia octoflora

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) 87 600 2005
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 190 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
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: BG(156), CWH(1), ESSF(1), ICH(7), IDF(35), PP(63)


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

Vulpia octoflora var. glauca (Nutt.) Fernald
Vulpia octoflora var. hirtella (Piper) Henr.
Vulpia octoflora var. octoflora (Walter) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References