Festuca californica

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Festuca californica
Festucacalifornica0.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Festuca
Species: F. californica
Binomial name
Festuca californica
Vasey

Festuca californica is a species of grass known by the common name California fescue.

This fescue species is native to the U.S. states of California and Oregon, where it is a member of many plant communities, including chaparral and oak woodlands. [1] [2]

Description[edit]

Festuca californica is a clumping perennial bunch grass, without rhizomes, that grows in greenish gray tufts.

It reaches anywhere from 1.5–4.5 feet (0.46–1.37 m) in height, and 1.5–3.5 feet (0.46–1.07 m) in width. [3] The green-gray leaves are narrow, and can reach 2 feet (0.61 m) long.

The inflorescence, on stems reaching up to 6 feet (180 cm), holds spikelets, which are each 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are in large open sprays, in the spring and summer. The plant reproduces from seed and from buds located at the base of the clump.

Uses[edit]

Cultivation[edit]

Festuca californica is cultivated as an ornamental grass by specialty plant nurseries, for planting in traditional gardens and as a potted plant, for drought tolerant and wildlife gardens, and for natural landscaping projects. [4][5][6]

It is planted under Coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) in gardens, being a drought tolerant understory not requiring summer watering that can endanger the trees. [7] It is also planted in landscapes for slope stabilization and erosion control, due to its deep and dense network of roots.

Cultivars[edit]

Cultivars are grown, with different foliage color and texture aesthetic variations, they include:

  • Festuca californica 'Serpentine Blue' — blue grey-green. [8] [9]
  • Festuca californica 'River House Blues' (Ron's California Fescue) — chalky blue. [10]
  • Festuca californica 'Gabilan Blues' — shiny light blue. [11]
  • Festuca californica 'San Rafael Blue' — silver blue-green. [12]
  • Festuca californica 'Blue Fountain' - Suncrest Nurseries — chalky blue. [13]

Restoration[edit]

In ecological restoration projects, Festuca californica is used with other local native grasses for restoring California coastal prairie habitats.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]