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).
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(14), BAFA(28), BG(29), BWBS(14), CWH(1), ESSF(143), ICH(14), IDF(269), IMA(15), MH(4), MS(93), PP(13), SBPS(61), SBS(41), SWB(15)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
|Scientific Name||Origin Status||Provincial Status||BC List|
(Red Blue List)
|Festuca saximontana var. purpusiana||Native||S5||Yellow||Not Listed|
|Festuca saximontana var. robertsiana||Native||S4?||Yellow||Not Listed|
|Festuca saximontana var. saximontana||Native||S5||Yellow||Not Listed|
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Festuca saximontana var. purpusiana (St.-Yves) Frederiksen & Pavlick