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..
F. occidentalis Hook. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 249. 1840.
Culms densely tufted, 1 1/2°-3° tall, erect, slender, smooth and glabrous; blades filiform, soft, up to 4' long, the basal ones numerous; panicle 3'-8' long, loose; spikelets 3-5-flowered, the empty scales unequal, variable, the flowering scales membranous, glabrous, 2 1/2"-3" long, bearing an awn more than half their length.
In woods, Michigan to British Columbia and California. May-July.
Festuca ovina L. Sp. PI. 73. 1753.
Festuca ovina duriuscula Hack. Monog. Fest. Europe 89. 1882.
Smooth, glabrous, culms 6-2° tall, erect, tufted, slender, rigid, simple; no rootstocks. Sheaths usually crowded at the base of the culm; ligule auriculate, short; blades filiform or setaceous, those of the culm few, 1-3' long, erect, the basal ones numerous; panicle 1 1/2'-6' long, often one-sided, narrow, its branches short, usually erect or appressed; spikelets 3-5-flow-ered; empty scales unequal, acute, the first 1-nerved, the second 3-nerved; flowering scales 1 1/2" - 3" long, smooth, acute, short-awned.
In fields and waste places, New Hampshire to North Dakota, New Jersey, Kentucky and Iowa. Variable. Probably indigenous northward, but mostly naturalized from Europe. Native also of Asia. Black-twitch-grass. Hard Fescue. June-July.
Festuca brevifolia R. Br. Append. Parry's Voy. Suppl.
289. 1824. Not Muhl. 1817. Festuca brachyphylla Schultes, Mant. 3: Addit. 1,
646. 1827. Festuca ovina L. var. brevifolia S. Wats, in King's
Rep. U. S. Geol. Expl. 40th Paral. 5: 389. 1871.
Smooth and glabrous. Culms densely tufted, 6' or less tall, slender, erect, much exceeding the short basal leaves; sheaths coarsely striate; ligule a short scarious ring; blades very narrow, involute, at least when dry; those on the culm 1/2 or less long, erect or ascending; panicle 1' or less long, nearly simple, its branches appressed; spike-lets 2-4-flowered, the empty scales acuminate, the first 1-nerved, the second 3-nerved; flowering scales acute or acuminate, rough toward the apex, 2"-2 1/2" long, exclusive of the scabrous awn which is 1/2"-1 1/4" long.
Newfoundland to British Columbia, the higher mountains of Vermont, and the Rocky Mountains to Colorado. Summer.
Festuca capillata Lam. Fl. Franc. 3: 598. 1778.
Festuca ovina capillata Hack. Bot. Centrb. 8: 405. 1881.
Densely tufted. Culms erect with a decumbent base, 6'-15' tall, slender, smooth and glaucous, shining; sheaths smooth, longer than the internodes, confined to the base of the culm; ligule a short membranous ring; blades filiform, smooth or rough, the basal ones from one-third to one-half as long as the culm, the culm leaves l'-l 1/2' long; panicle contracted, 1/2'-2' long, its branches erect, 1/2 or less long; spikelets 2"-2 1/2" long, 4-5-flowered; outer scales empty, unequal, the first acuminate, the second acute; flowering scales about 1 1/4" long, unawned, acute.
Fields and roadsides, Newfoundland to New Jersey and Michigan. Introduced from Europe. June-July.