GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora


W.D. Clayton, M. Vorontsova, K.T. Harman & H. Williamson

© Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Festuca fragilis

HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped densely. Cataphylls inconspicuous. Basal innovations intravaginal. Culms slender; straight; 30–35 cm long; without nodal roots. Culm-internodes terete; smooth, or scaberulous. Culm-nodes without exudate; glabrous. Lateral branches lacking. Leaves mostly basal; 0–1 per branch. Leaf-sheaths tight; unthickened at base; open for most of their length; longer than adjacent culm internode; without keel; striately veined; glabrous on surface. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 3–5 mm long; membranous; white; scaberulous on abaxial surface; entire; acute. Leaf-blade base symmetrical. Leaf-blades straight; filiform; conduplicate; angular in section; 5–11 cm long; 1–1.5 mm wide; coriaceous; stiff, or firm; yellowish green, or light green. Leaf-blade midrib indistinct. Leaf-blade venation indistinct; with subepidermal sclerenchyma strands unequal in size; with subepidermal sclerenchyma attached to veins below; without layer of subepidermal sclerenchyma masking vein striation. Leaf-blade surface ribbed; scabrous; puberulous; moderately hairy; hairy adaxially. Leaf-blade margins scabrous; glabrous. Leaf-blade apex obtuse.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle; with 1 peduncles per sheath. Peduncle terete; eglandular; glabrous.

Panicle contracted; lanceolate, or elliptic; continuous; dense; equilateral; straight; 7–9 cm long; 2–4 cm wide; bearing few spikelets; contracted about primary branches. Primary panicle branches simple. Panicle axis angular; scaberulous.

Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels angular; unequal; 4–5 mm long, or 8–15 mm long; scabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 5–7 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets cuneate; laterally compressed; 30–40 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Spikelet callus glabrous. Rhachilla internodes zig-zag; scaberulous. Floret callus glabrous.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; with lower narrower than upper; shorter than spikelet, or reaching apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate; 7–10 mm long; 0.66 length of upper glume; hyaline, or membranous; pallid, or light brown; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface scabrous. Lower glume apex acuminate. Upper glume lanceolate; 11–15 mm long; 0.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; pallid, or light green, or light brown; without keels; 3 -veined. Upper glume primary vein scabrous. Upper glume apex acuminate.

FLORETS Fertile lemma lanceolate; symmetrical; 22–30 mm long; chartaceous; pallid, or light green, or light brown; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface scaberulous. Lemma apex acuminate; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn stiff; 5–7 mm long overall. Palea 0.66 length of lemma; 2 -veined. Palea keels scaberulous. Palea surface scaberulous. Palea apex acuminate. Apical sterile florets resembling fertile though underdeveloped.

FLOWER Lodicules 2. Anthers 3. Ovary glabrous.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; lanceolate, or oblong; concavo-convex; 3.5 mm long; glabrous. Hilum linear.

DISTRIBUTION South America: northern South America.

NOTES Poeae. Stancik 2005.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 3rd February 2016.