This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Tufted grasses, with narrow flat leaf-blades and long slender spikes arranged in an open panicle, or rarely only one terminal spike. Spikelets several-flowered, narrow, sessile or shortly pedicelled, erect. Two lower scales empty, membranous, keeled, acute, unequal; flowering scales 1-3-nerved, 2-toothed and mucronate or short-awned between the teeth. Palet hyaline, 2-nerved. Stamens 3. Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain free, loosely enclosed in the scale and palet. [Greek, referring to the 2-toothed flowering scales.]
About 15 species, natives of the warmer regions of both hemispheres. Besides the following species, about 6 others occur in the southern and western parts of North America. Type species: Festuca fascicularis Lam.
Awn less than 1/3 as long as the flowering scale.
Spikelets 2"-4" long, the flowering scales acute or obtuse at the 2-toothed apex, lateral nerves
Spikelets 5"-6" long, the flowering scales acuminate at the usually entire apex, the lateral nerves
Awn l/2 as long as the flowering scale or more.
Festuca fascicularis Lam. Tabl. Encycl. 1: 189.
1791. Diplachne fascicularis Beauv. Agrost. 160. 1812.
Culms 1°-2 1/2° tall, erect, ascending, or rooting at the lower nodes, finally branched, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, loose, smooth or rough, the upper one longer and enclosing the base of the panicle; ligule 1"-2" long; blades 3'-8' long, 1"-1 1/2" wide, scabrous; panicle 4'-12' in length, often exceeded by the upper leaf, the branches erect or ascending, the lower 2'-5' long; spikelets 8-10-flowered, 2"-4" long; lower scales glabrous, rough on the keel; flowering scales, exclusive of the awn, 1 1/2"-2" long, the midnerve extending into an awn 1/2" long or less.
Culms tufted, 1°-2° tall, finally branching; blades erect, 4'-1° long, 2 1/2" wide or less, usually involute when dry, very rough; racemes numerous, erect or ascending, the larger 3'-6' long; spikelets 5"-6" long, the scales 8-11, the flowering scales 3"-3 1/2" long, acuminate at the entire or occasionally slightly 2-toothed apex, the lateral nerves rarely slightly excurrent, the midnerve extending into an awn 3/4" long or less.
Wet or moist soil, Arkansas and Missouri to Nebraska and Colorado. June-Aug.
1903. Not Arech. 1896. D. maritima Bicknell, Bull. Torrey Club 35: 195. 1908.
Culms tufted, finally branching, 8'-16' tall; blades erect, 3'-8' long, 2" wide or less, involute when dry; racemes numerous, erect, the larger 2'-3' long; spikelets about 5" long; scales 8-10, the empty ones usually awned or awn-pointed, the flowering scales, exclusive of the awn, 2 l/4"- 4 1/2" long, acuminate at the slightly 2-toothed apex, the midnerve extending into an awn 1/2 or more as long as the scale.
Brackish marshes and shores, Massachusetts to South Carolina; also on the shore of Onondaga Lake, N. Y. Aug.-Oct.