Festuca rubra*

Festuca rubra* Linn. Sp. Pl. 74 (1753).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Sweden, Upsala: Anon (GB lecto).

Key references (books and floras): [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (126), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (269), [2009] A.Wilson (ed.). Flora of Australia, Vol 44A. Poaceae 2 (281).

Illustrations: [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (127, fig. 83as subsp. rubra), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (269).

Habit. Perennial. Rhizomes absent or present, elongated. Culms erect or geniculately ascending, stature slender to delicate, 15–104 cm tall, 1–3 -noded. Lateral branches sparsely branched. Leaves basal and cauline. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface or hairy. Leaf-sheath auricles absent. Ligule an eciliate membrane, 0.2–0.4 mm long. Leaf-blades filiform, flat or conduplicate, 3–40 cm long, 0.4–1(–2) mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth or scabrous, glabrous or indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle lanceolate or oblong, 3–17 cm long.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets many flowered, with at least 2 fertile florets (3–9), comprising 3–9 fertile floret(s), with diminished florets at the apex, elliptic or oblong, laterally compressed, 5–14 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar. Lower glume lanceolate, chartaceous, without keels, 1 -nerved. Upper glume oblong, 3–5.5 mm long, chartaceous, without keels, 3 -nerved.

Florets. Fertile lemma 4–6.4 mm long, without keel or keeled, 5 -nerved. Lemma apex awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn 0.5–3.4 mm long overall. Palea 2 -nerved. Anthers 3.

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

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

Western Australia: Irwin, Drummond, Warren. South Australia: Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty. New South Wales: Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands. Victoria: Gippsland Plain, Midlands, Otway Plain, Snowfields, Volcanic Plain. Tasmania: North West, East Coast.

Notes. Introduced. Native of Europe. Usually in damp open habitats, common in suburban lawns. Flowers Oct.-Jan. Fruits Jan.-Feb.

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