Festuca pratensis*

Festuca pratensis* Honck, non Huds (1762). Fl. Angl. 37 (1762).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Pooideae. Tribe Poeae.

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Europe: Herb. Linn. 92.1 (LINN lecto).

Recent synonyms: F. elatior subsp. pratensis.

Key references (books and floras): [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (as F. elatior), [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (124), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (268), [2009] A.Wilson (ed.). Flora of Australia, Vol 44A. Poaceae 2 (278).

Illustrations: [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (126, fig. 82), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (268).

Habit. Perennial. Culms erect or geniculately ascending, 30–140 cm tall, 2–4 -noded. Lateral branches simple. Leaf-sheaths smooth, glabrous on surface. Leaf-sheath auricles present. Ligule an eciliate membrane, 0.2–1.5 mm long. Leaf-blades linear, flat or involute, 10–45 cm long, 2–8 mm wide.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle lanceolate or ovate, effuse, (6–)10–35 cm long.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets many flowered, with at least 2 fertile florets (4–14), comprising 4–14 fertile floret(s), with diminished florets at the apex, lanceolate or oblong, laterally compressed, 9–20 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar. Lower glume lanceolate, chartaceous, much thinner above, much thinner on margins, without keels, 1(–2) -nerved. Upper glume oblong, 3–6 mm long, chartaceous, without keels, 1–3 -nerved.

Florets. Fertile lemma 5–7(–8) mm long, without keel, 5 -nerved. Lemma apex muticous or awned. Median (principal) awn 0–2 mm long overall. Palea 2 -nerved. Anthers 3.

Continental Distribution: Europe, Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, North America, and South America.

Australian Distribution: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales.

Western Australia: Drummond. South Australia: Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, South-eastern. New South Wales: South Coast, Northern Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Central-Western Slopes.

Notes. Planted as a pasture grass.

Introduced. Native of Europe and Asia. Flowers summer-spring, Jan.

AVH 2011


Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith