Shortleaf Fescue - Festuca brachyphylla
Bunch grasses mostly 8-35 cm tall. Culms erect, sometimes sparsely scabrous or puberulent near the inflorescence. Leaf sheaths closed about halfway, sometimes scabrous, sometimes slowly shedding into fibers; collars glabrous; ligules 0.1-0.4 mm long; blades less than 1.2 mm wide, conduplicate. Inflorescences 1.5-5.5 cm long, contracted, paniculate or rarely racemose, branches 1-2 per node; branches usually erect or sometimes spreading at anthesis, the lower with 2 or more spikelets. Spikelets 3.5-7(-8.5) mm long; florets 2-4(6). Lower glumes mostly 1.8-3.5 mm long; upper glumes mostly 2.4-4 mm long; lemmas 2.5-4.5(-6) mm long, scabrous towards tip, awns mostly 1-3.5 mm long; anthers mostly 0.7-1.1 mm; ovary apex glabrous (adapted from: Darbyshire & Pavlick, 2012, Flora N. America, Vol. 24).
Lavin (2012) includes this species in synonymy of Festuca idahoensis. Kartesz (in prep. 2012) recognizes subspecies brachyphylla and coloradensis Frederiksen, the latter being restricted to Gallatin, Park, Sweetgrass and Stillwater counties.
AK and much of Canda south to CA and NM, south farther east into MN and scarcely VT and ME (Kartesz in prep. 2012).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
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Mountainous, often alpine.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.