West Highland Flora

Viviparous Fescue


Festuca vivipara

 

Festuca vivipara

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Sep 2001 Penifiler, Skye

Very common in grassland and moorland, from sea-level to mountain tops.

Upper glume c 3.5 mm.  Spikelets c 5-10 mm long ex viviparous shoots.  Plant typically c 20-40 cm tall.

ID: Has young plants in place of flowers.  Leaves threadlike, ligules extremely short.

Other features: The other two normally viviparous grasses in the area are mountain species, Alpine Hair-grass and Alpine Meadow-grass - both have substantial ligules (averaging over 3 mm long).  But many grasses can occasionally produce viviparous spikelets.  However F vivipara is usually plentiful where found and entirely viviparous.

 

Festuca vivipara

Photo Carl Farmer
15 May 2003 Coulnacraggan, Skye

  Festuca vivipara

Photo Carl Farmer
15 May 2003 Coulnacraggan, Skye

Shoots in Spring before infloresence opens; the protruding pointed plantlets
already show this to be a viviparous grass

 

Festuca vivipara

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Picture c 6.3 cm wide
 

Festuca vivipara

Photo Carl Farmer
10 Aug 2002 Broadford, Skye

 

An exceptionally lush crop of plantlets on this one
(Broad grass-blades in picture are of other species)

 
 
Back to species list