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Festuca occidentalis (Western fescue)
Smith, R.W.

Festuca occidentalis

Festuca occidentalis Hook.

Western Fescue

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Festuca ovina var. polyphylla

USDA Symbol: feoc

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A medium-sized bunchgrass with narrow, green leaves and flowering culms to 3+ ft. tall. Spikelets occur on the drooping, wiry branches of the large, open panicle.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3-1/2 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , ID , MI , MT , OR , SD , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , ON
Native Distribution: B.C. to c. CA, e. to MT & WY; in Canada e. to w. Ont. & s. to n. MI
Native Habitat: Rocky, wooded stream banks; lake margins; moist to dry woods; below 6500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry to moist, rocky soil.


Description: 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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Festuca occidentalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Festuca occidentalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Festuca occidentalis


Record Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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