Festuca californica Vasey
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Festuca hitchcockianus
USDA Symbol: FECA
This perennial bunchgrass is large, relative to most fescues, with gracefully drooping, narrow, dull-green to blue-green leaves reaching up to 4 ft. in height. Flower culms may stand up to 3-6 ft.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: CA , MT , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Clackamas Co., OR to s. CA, w. of the Cascades & Sierras
Native Habitat: Dry, open ground to moist stream banks; wood edges; below 5000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry to moist soils.
BenefitUse Food: Festuca grasses harvested for seed by Native Americans.
Use Other: Pomo Indians maintained stands of this species for thatch.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Sow seed.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
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Groundcover for erosion control
September 23, 2008
I live in southern california. What is the best groundcover to plant on a slope to prevent erosion?
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 1218 - Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources (2006) Anderson, M. Kat
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Festuca californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Festuca californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Festuca californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff