Festuca of North America


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

Festuca vivipara subsp. glabra Frederiksen


Nord J. Bot. 1: 288. 1985. Name used in Aiken and Darbyshire (1990), now placed into synonymy with F. viviparoidea. Type: Greenland, Jameson Land, Gurreholm, 14 August 1958, K. A. Holmen 807. Holotype: C.

Habit. Plants bluish gray green, 11–28 cm high, densely tufted, tiller bases stiffly erect, bases not purplish, horizontal rooting stems absent. Vegetative shoots arising from within existing sheaths.

Vegetative morphology. Sheaths glabrous, not conspicuous at the base of the plant or conspicuous at the base of the plant, persisting for more than 1 year, splitting between the veins (often brownish), open more than half their length. Collars glabrous. Auricles represented by distinct, erect, swellings. Auricular cilia absent. Ligules 0.2–0.5 mm long, ciliate. Leaf blades 3–12 cm long, more or less lax. Adaxial blade surfaces with trichomes, abaxial blade surfaces with trichomes (uniformly scabridulous). Leaf blades plicate; 0.35–0.48–0.55 mm wide, 0.6–0.67–0.75 mm deep. Veins 5–7. Adaxial to abaxial sclerenchyma strands absent. Abaxial sclerenchyma poorly developed or well developed, in discrete, relatively narrow strands opposite the veins. Ribs 1 (well defined, 0–4 variously defined). Uppermost culm leaf sheaths not inflated. Flag leaf blades 2–3 cm long. Culm nodes becoming exposed, 1; internodes densely pubescent (with dense or sparse retrorse hairs e.g. a Yukon specimen, CAN 270342, has hairy culms).

Floral morphology. Inflorescence 1–3 cm long. Inflorescence branches at the lowest node 1, appressed after anthesis, 0.2–0.4 cm long. Rachis angular in cross section, trichomes over the entire surface. Spikelets aggregated towards the ends of the branches; 1–2 on the longest branches; 7–15 mm long (including the vegetative proliferation), 2–3 mm wide. Proliferating spikelets present. Florets 2–3. Glumes unequal, glabrous or with trichomes, vestiture at the apex only (scabrous, if present), margins ciliate. First glume 3–4 mm long, veins 1. Second glume shorter than the first lemma, 3.6–6 mm long, veins 3. Lemma callus not elongated. Lemma 3.6–6 mm long, nerveless in dorsal view or sometimes with only the centre vein distinct, with trichomes, trichomes over the entire surface; apex entire (often awnless in proliferating florets). Lemma awn 0.1–0.3 mm long (if present). Anthers 2 mm long (approximately, if present). Ovary apex glabrous.

Cytology. 2n = 49, 56.

Habitat and Distribution. Native; arctic, or alpine. Greenland; Canada: B.C., Franklin District (NWT), Mackenzie District (NWT), Yukon; Rocky Mountains USA: Mont.

Classification. Subg. Festuca L.


These data were collected from specimens annotated by Frederiksen before 1985 and used in Aiken and Darbyshire (1990). They have been incorporated into the description of F. viviparoidea Krajina ex Pavlick s.l. in the accepted taxa of the database. The two CAN specimens from the Canadian Arctic may be F. baffinensis Polunin × F. brachyphylla Schult. & Schult. f. hybrids. They have very young inflorescences and few definitive characteristics.

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).