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

Festuca saximontana var. robertsiana
Rocky Moutain fescue
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Festuca saximontana var. robertsiana
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial, densely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems (5) 20-50 (60) cm tall, with visible nodes in taller plants.
Leaves:
Sheaths conspicuous at the base of the stems, persisting for more than 1 year, remaining entire, not shredding into fibres; blades 2-20 cm long, 0.3-0.7 mm wide, stiff, hairlike, folded; ligules 0.1-0.4 mm long.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a narrow panicle, 3-9 (13) cm long, the branches 0.5-3 (5) cm long; spikelets (2-) 3- to 4- (6-) flowered, (3.5) 4.5-9 (10) mm long; lower glumes 1.5-3.5 mm long, the upper ones 2.5-4.8 mm long; lemmas 3-5.6 mm long, awned, the awns 0.5-2 (2.5) mm long; anthers (0.9) 1.2-1.7 (2.1) mm long; ovary tops smooth.
Notes:
F. saximontana var. purpusiana is the name given to plants 8-20 (25) cm tall, in which the stems are less than 2 times the length of the basal tufts. Such plants are found at higher altitudes in more exposed habitats, but do not appear to be genetically distinct. The var. robertsiana, described by Pavlick (1984) from the Rocky Mountains of BC, is intermediate in culm length between the var. purpusiana and var. saximontana and is difficult to distinguish (Aiken 1994).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, grasslands, rocky slopes and ridges and forest openings in the montane to subalpine zones; common in S BC in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent in SW and N BC; N to AK, YT, NT, E to NF and S to NY, MI, WI, IA, KS, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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