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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #13381)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Festuca campestris
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

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


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)
955 275 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
26 0 360

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

196 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Festuca altaica var. major (Vasey) Gleason
Festuca scabrella var. major Vasey