Plant Image
Herbarium specimen
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Festuca ovina - sheep fescue

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant image
Herbarium specimen

Arizona State University Vascular Plant Herbarium, Usage Rights: Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)
Plant image

ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium, Usage Rights: Attribution-Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool and Warm
Habitat Description: Found in diverse habitats including hillsides, meadows, and open forests.
Plant Communities: Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 7000 - 12000 feet

Similar Species: Festuca arizonica, Festuca idahoensis

General Description

Desc: Densely tufted, cool season dwarf perennial with narrow, stiff basal leaves and a narrow, dense flower cluster.
Identification notes: Densely tufted perennial; stems 3 to 15 inches tall; blades narrow, firm, rolled, 2 to 6 inches long; seedhead stem up to 12 inches long; seedhead contracted, often spikelike, 2 to 4 inches long; spikelets 4 or 5 flowered; lemmas about a 1/4 inch long.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jul - Sep

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead often spikelike, 1 to 2 branches per node, branches usually erect, lower branches with 2 or more spikelets; spikelets mostly 4 to 5 flowered; lemmas awns less than 1/16 inch long.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Involute  
Blade Notes: Blades narrow, 2 to 6 inches long, smooth or hairy, with 1 to 3 indistinct ribs.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths closed for half their length, free from hairs; ligules less than 1/16 inch.

Forage Value: Unknown.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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