Festuca rubra L. ssp. rubra

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Poeae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

red fescue

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, pedicelled (pedicels 1–5 mm long), consisting of 5–8 fertile florets with similar-looking though diminished sterile florets at apex, elliptic or oblong, laterally compressed, 9–14.5 mm long. Disarticulation below each fertile floret.

Glumes persistent, dissimilar, shorter than spikelet, chartaceous, without keel, apices acute. Lower glume lanceolate, 3–4.5 mm long, 0.7–0.8 length of upper glume, 1-veined, lateral veins absent. Upper glume oblong, 4–6.4 mm long, 0.7–0.8 length of adjacent fertile lemma, 3-veined.

Fertile florets: rachilla persistent, smooth to scabrid, callus blunt, glabrous to bearded laterally.

Lemma lanceolate, (4)6–7.5(8) mm long, chartaceous, with green or purple coloring, without keel, 5-veined, surface scaberulous (primarily distally), rough above, apex acute to acuminate, 1-awned, awn stiff, 0.6–3.2(4) mm long.

Palea same length as lemma, 2-veined, intercostal region puberulent on distal fourth, keels scaberulous, apex acute, sometimes shortly bifid.

Caryopsis narrowly elliptic to oblong, 2.5–4 mm long x 1–1.5 mm wide, brown, embryo <0.33 length of caryopsis, hilum linear, same length as caryopsis, in deep groove.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)