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

Festuca campestris Rydb.
rough fescue (rough fesuce)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13381)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Festuca campestris
Click here to view our NEW 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; stems (30) 40-90 cm tall, without visible nodes.
Sheaths conspicuous at the base of the stems, persisting for more than 1 year, remaining entire not shredding into fibres; blades 10-60cm long, flat or folded; ligules 0.1-0.5 mm long.
Inflorescence an open panicle, 5-18 cm long, the branches 2.5-7 (13) cm long, the lower ones rigid, 2-7 cm long, erect or ascending, not borne on one side of the axis; spikelets usually pale green below and somewhat puplish abouve, (3- ) 4 to 5- (7-) flowered, 8-12 (16) mm long; lower glumes 4.5-7,5 (8.5) mm long, the upper ones 5.3-8.2 (9) mm long; lemmas (6.2) 7-8.5 (10) mm long, the margins not conspicuously translucent, long-pointed, awned, the awns 0.5-1.5 mm long; anthers (3.30 4.5-6 mm long; ovary tops hairy.
The branches of the inflorescence tend to be stiffer in F. campestris than in F. altaica.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
According to the USDA, this species is a known allelopath.
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grasslands, meadows and forest openings in the steppe to subapine zones; common in SC and SE BNC; E to SW AB and S to CO, ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Festuca campestris

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) 275 955 2854
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 196 360
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(122), ESSF(63), ICH(2), IDF(376), IMA(8), MS(19), PP(207)


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 altaica var. major (Vasey) Gleason
Festuca scabrella var. major Vasey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References