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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Idaho Fescue - Festuca idahoensis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Stems 10–80 cm. Leaves: blades 1 mm wide, inrolled. Inflorescence an open panicle 2–20 cm long, the peduncle glabrous and usually greenish in color. Spikelets 5–10 mm long, with 3 to 7 florets. Lemmas with an awn tip or awn up to 5 mm long (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Throughout western North America except at extreme northern latitudes (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3988

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Husby, P.O. 1982. Effects of grazing on vegetation in the Artemisia tridentata-Festuca idahoensis habitat type. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 76 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Weaver, T. and D. Collins. 1977. Possible effects of weather modification (increased snow pack) on Festuca idahoensis meadows. Journal of Range Management 30:451-456.
    • Weaver, T. and K. Blanchet. 1973. A bibliography of the literature on Idaho Fescue, Festuca idahoensis Elmer. Proceedings of the Montana Academy of Science 33:42-45.
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Citation for data on this website:
Idaho Fescue — Festuca idahoensis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from