Perennial, densely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems (25) 30-90 (120) cm tall, the nodes not visible.
Sheaths conspicuous at the base of the stems, persisting for more than 1 year, remaining entire, not conspicuously splitting between the nerves; blades (4) 10-30 (45) cm long, 1-3 mm wide, flat or folded; ligules 0.2-0.6 mm long.
Inflorescence an open panicle, 5-16 cm long, the branches (3) 5-13 cm long often with the flowers and branches borne on one side of the axis, the lower branches weak, to 10 cm long, often reflexed and to one side; spikelets strongly purplish-bronze with a sheen, 8-14 mm long, 3- to 4- (6-) flowered; lower glumes (4) 4.2-6.8 (8.3) mm long, the upper ones (4.5) 5.3-7.5 (10) mm long; lemmas (6.5) 7.5-9 (12) mm long, the margins translucent, awned, the awns 0.2-0.7 mm long; anthers 2.6-4.5 (5) mm long; ovary tops hairy.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|AT(56), BAFA(430), BG(3), BWBS(154), ESSF(214), ICH(3), IDF(11), IMA(6), MH(11), MS(74), PP(7), SBPS(5), SBS(3), SWB(384)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Festuca altaica subsp. scabrella (Torr. ex Hook.) Hultén
Festuca altaica var. scabrella (Torr. ex Hook.) Breitung
Festuca scabrella Torr. ex Hook.