Festuca of North America


S. G. Aiken, M. J. Dallwitz, C. L. McJannet, and L. L. Consaul

Festuca rubra subsp. arenicola E. B. Alexeev


Byull. Mosk. O-va Ispyt. Prir. Otd. Biol. 87: 115. 1982. Type: U.S.A. California: Northern Coast region, sand dunes of ocean at Humbolt Bay, 4 July 1900, J.P. Tracy 894. Holotype: LE. Paratypes: U.S.A. California: Eureka, low moist ground, bank of Humbolt Bay, 13 July 1915, A.S. Hitchcock, Am. Grass Nat. Herb. 469. LE. BR. U.S.A. California: San Francisco, 12 May 1882, M. E. Jones 3251. BR.

Habitat and Distribution. Southwestern USA: Calif.


Treated in this database as synonymous with F. rubra subsp. densiuscula Hack. ex Piper with reasons discussed in the notes for that species. When Alexeev (1982) recognized this taxon as a distinct subspecies he presented illustrations of two leaf cross sections, one involute and the other of a flat leaf, the first with heavy sclerenchyma, the second with small sclerenchyma bundles. He claimed that this Californian, littoral subspecies differs from the type subspecies in having well developed sclerenchyma, smooth (not scabrous) panicle branches, spikelets with a dove-coloured bloom, awnless lemmas, and paleas that are almost glabrous along the keels. He also noted that in the material examined from the states of California, Oregon and Washington, he found a few specimens that were transitional between subsp. arenicola and subsp. rubra in a number of characters. For example, some had scabrous panicle branches and spikelets without a dove-coloured bloom as in subsp. rubra; the lemmas were awnless and the paleas were glabrous as in subsp. arenicola. The notes for F. rubra subsp. densiuscula comment on the phenotypic plasticity observed in that subspecies which appears to accommodate the subspecies that Alexeev described later.

The interactive key provides access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, and summaries of attributes within groups of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., McJannet, C.L. and Consaul, L.L. 1996 onwards. Festuca of North America: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 19th October 2005. http://delta-intkey.com’. Aiken, Dallwitz, McJannet, and Consaul (1997) should also be cited (see References).