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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Plains Rough Fescue - Festuca hallii

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Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Cespitose perennials, mostly 25-85 cm tall. Culms sometimes scabrous near top. Leaf sheaths closed for less a third of their length, collars glabrous; ligules 0.3-0.6 mm long; blades usually conduplicate, less than 1.2 mm in diameter, or more rarely flat and up to 2.5 mmwide, grayish-green, surfaces scabrous (or puberulent below). Inflorescences 6-16 cm long, more or less contracted; branches 1-2(3) per node, stiffly spreading (typically when flowering) to erect, spikelets borne towards tips. Spikelets 6.5-9.5 mm long; florets 2-3(4). Glumes about equal to or slightly exceeding upper florets. Lower glumes 5-8(-9.5) mm long; upper glumes 6.2-8.5(-9.5) mm long; lemmas 5.5-8(-9) mm long, awnless or with awns to 1.3 mm long; anthers 4-6 mm long; ovary apex sparsely pubescent (adapted from: Darbyshire & Pavlick, 2007, Flora of N. America, Vol. 24).

Lavin (2012) includes this species in synonymy of Festuca campestris.

Species Range

Range Comments
BC east to SK, south to OR, northern ID and western half of MT; disjunct in a few counties in southern CO (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 4

(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)

Grasslands of northern Great Plains, but alpine meadows in southern CO (Darbyshire & Pavlick, 2007, Flora of N. America, Vol. 24).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Miller, J.G. 1978. An ecoligical study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p.
    • Nelson, G.P. 1986. Responses of elk to a 500 kV transmission line on the North Boulder winter range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Ozeran, R.K. 2016. Disturbance and site characteristics relate to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) abundance on ranches in Montana foothills ecosystems. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 88 p.
    • Thrift, Tanya M. 2006. Effects of long-term winter-spring grazing on foothill rangeland. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 59 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Plains Rough Fescue — Festuca hallii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from