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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Rough Fescue - Festuca campestris
Other Names:  Festuca altaica, Festuca scabrella

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links

General Description
Perennial bunchgrass. Stems 60–100 cm. Leaves: blades 1–2 mm wide, inrolled to partially flattened, distinctly scabrous; old leaf sheaths persistent in tuft. Inflorescence a narrow panicle 5–15 cm long. Spikelets 8–12 mm long, with 4 to 6 florets. Lemmas awnless or awn-tipped (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
BC to SK, ON, south to OR, ID, MT and CO (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX) .

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1484

(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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    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Tirmenstein, D. 2000. Festuca campestris. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online}. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
    • Willms, W. D., and J. Fraser. 1992. Growth characteristics of rough fescue (Festuca scabrella var. campestris) after three years of repeated harvesting at scheduled frequencies and heights. Canadian Journal of Botany 70:2125-2129.
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Citation for data on this website:
Rough Fescue — Festuca campestris.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from