Although botanists have studied the Pacific Northwest Flora for a century and a half, primary taxonomy of community-dominant fescue grasses (Festuca spp.) has been confused. Recently, their taxonomic status, identification, and ranges have been clarified. Festuca roemeri, rather than the similar F. rubra or F. idahoensis, is the native dominant fescue in upland grasslands west of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, from SW British Columbia to central California. Festuca roemeri in the California Floristic Province has been recognized as a taxonomic variety. Sheep Fescue (F. ovina) is not native to North America. The most commonly planted "Sheep Fescue" cultivar in the Pacific Northwest originated from F. valesiaca X F. callieri stock. It is not native to North America. It is persisting and locally spreading, and will complicate fescue identification as it becomes naturalized. Taxonomy of the rarer grasses F. howellii (=F. elmeri) and F. washingtonica has also been studied.

Key words: Festuca elmeri, Festuca idahoensis, Festuca roemeri, Festuca rubra, Poaceae, taxonomy