Festuca ovina L. - Sheep fescue.

Taxonomical position.

Family Poaceae Benth. Genera Festuca L.

Morphology and biology.

Long-term, dense, green cereal. Stalks (20) 30-60 cm in height, bare and smooth under panicle or, more rarely, rough or with short pubescence. Vaginas split almost to the base; leaves capilliform, 0.3-0.6 (0.7) mm in diameter, outside more or less rough; ligula very short, slit. Panicle (2) 3-6 (8) cm in length, straight, with rough axis and branchlets. Spikelets 5-6 (8) mm in length. The bottom floral scales are lanceolate, 3.5-4.5 mm in length, bare or downy with awns 1-1.5 mm in length. Blossoms in June-July. Anemophilous. 2n=14.


Occurs throughout Central and Northern Europe, the European part of the USSR (except for the steppe zone), the Caucasus, Siberia, the Far East, Mongolia, China, and Japan.


Xerophilous, oligotrophic plant. Grows in poor poorly podsolic and sod-podsolic sandy, dusty-sandy and sandy soils in meadows, in pine woods, and in forest-steppe. After grazing and trampling, Sheep fescue becomes one of the dominant plants in the grazed field.

Use and economic value.

Fodder cereal, amenital plant.

Literature cited:

Cereals of Ukraine. 1977. Kiev, Nuakova Dumka, 518 pages.
Grossheim A.A. 1939. Flora of Caucasus. Vol. 2. Polypodiaceae - Gramineae. Baku, Publishing house AzFaN, 587 pages.
Kharkevich S.S., ed. 1985. Vascular plants of the Soviet Far East. Vol. 1. The Science, 398 pages.
Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G.A., eds. 1990. Flora of Siberia. Vol. 2. Poaceae (Gramineae.) Novosibirsk: Science, 361 pages.
Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G.A., eds. 1979. Flora of Central Siberia. Vol. 1. Onocleaceae-Saxifragaceae. Novosibirsk: Science, 431 pages.
Tzvelev N.I., ed. 1974. Flora of Northeast of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 1. Families Polypodiaceae - Gramineae. Leningrad: Science, 275 pages.
Tzvelev N.N. 1976. Cereals of the USSR. Leningrad, Science, 788 pages.

© Malyshev L.L.

Copyright on the photos belongs to E. Dzyubenko.

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