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..
Culms 4' -18' tall, erect, from an annual root, slender, rigid, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes; ligule very short; blades 1 1/2'-3' long, involute; raceme or simple panicle often one-sided, 1'-6' in length, contracted, its branches erect, or rarely ascending; spikelets 6-13-flowered, 3"-$" long; empty scales acute, smooth, the first 1-nerved, more than half the length of the 3-nerved second one; flowering scales, exclusive of awns, 1 1/2"-2 1/2" long, usually very scabrous, acuminate into an awn nearly as long as the body, or sometimes awnless; stamens 2.
Dry sandy soil. Quebec to British Columbia, south to Florida, Texas and California. June-Aug.
Festuca Myuros L. Sp. PI. 74. 1753.
Smooth, glabrous, culms 1°-2° tall, erect from an annual root, slender, simple. Sheaths often shorter than the internodes, the upper sometimes enclosing the base of the panicle; ligule 1/2" long, truncate; blades 2'-5' long, subulate, involute, erect; panicle usually onesided, 4'-12' in length, contracted, sometimes curved, its branches appressed; spikelets 3-6-flowered; empty scales very unequal, acute, smooth, the first 1-nerved, less than half as long as the 3-nerved second one; flowering scales, exclusive of the awns, 2"-3" long, narrow, scabrous, acuminate into an awn much longer than the body; stamen 1.
In waste places and fields, New Hampshire to New Jersey and Ohio. Also on the Pacific coast. Naturalized from Europe. Mouse-tail, Capon's-tail grass. June-July.
Festuca sciurea Nutt. Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. 5: 147. 1837.
Culms 4-20' tall, slender; blades 2' long or less, less than i" wide; panicle slender, 1 1/2'-6' long, its branches erect or appressed; spikelets 3-5-flowered, the first scale more than one-half as long as the second, the flowering scales appressed-pubescent, about 1 1/2" long, exclusive of the awn which is 2-3 times as long as the scale.
In dry soil, Virginia to Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. Squirrel Fescue. June-Aug.
Festuca rubra L. Sp. PI. 74. 1753.
Culms 1 1/2°-2 1/2° tall, from running rootstocks, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes; ligule very short, truncate; basal blades involute-filiform, 3'-6' long; culm blades shorter, erect, flat or involute in drying, minutely pubescent above; panicle 2'-5' in length, sometimes red, open at flowering time, contracted in fruit; spikelets 3-10-flow-ered, 4"-6" long; lower scales acute, unequal, the first 1-nerved, shorter than the 3-nerved second; flowering scales about 3" long, obscurely 5-nerved, sometimes scabrous, bearing awns of less than their own length.
Labrador to Alaska and Virginia, south, especially on the mountains, to Tennessee and Colorado. Also in Europe and Asia. Summer.