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

Festuca saximontana var. saximontana
Rocky Mountain fescue
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
Once images have been obtained, photographs of this species will be displayed in this window.Click on the image to enter our photo gallery.
Currently no image is available for this taxon.
E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Festuca saximontana var. saximontana
Click here to view our 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 (5) 20-50 (60) cm tall, with visible nodes in taller plants.
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.
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.
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

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Festuca brachyphylla var. rydbergii (St.-Yves) Cronquist
Festuca ovina var. rydbergii St.-Yves
Festuca ovina var. saximontana (Rydb.) Gleason
Festuca saximontana var. robertsiana Pavlick

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References