WILSON, BARBARA. Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331. - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN FESCUE TAXONOMY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.
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