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Festuca californica Vasey
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Festuca hitchcockianus
USDA Symbol: FECA
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
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?
view the full question and answer
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