Festuca abyssinica A. Rich.

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Synonyms: Festuca abyssinica subsp. acamptophylla St. Yves
Festuca abyssinica var. acuta Rendle
Festuca abyssinica var. intermedia St. Yves
Festuca abyssinica var. keniana St. Yves
Festuca abyssinica var. schimperana St. Yves
Festuca gelida Chiov.
Festuca restituta Steud.
Festuca rigidula Steud.
Festuca schimperana A. Rich.
Koeleria afromontana Jacques-Félix
Common names:
Status: Native
A loosely to densely caespitose perennial, rather variable. Culms (15)25-60(80) cm. tall, 2-5-noded, geniculately ascending, sometimes straggling, rarely erect, terete, somewhat weak, glabrous, smooth. Leaf-sheaths striate, open, tight when young but soon slipping off the culm, usually glabrous; the older ones splitting into irregular brown fibres. Ligule 0·5-1 mm. long. Leaf-laminae 4-27 cm. long, up to 3 mm. wide, soft, usually involute, filiform or even acicular. Panicle 7-25 cm. long, rather dense, narrowly oblong to linear in outline, often spike-like; branches short, usually closely appressed to the rhachis, scaberulous. Spikelets shortly pedicelled, 6·5-10(12·5) mm. long, 2-6-flowered, bright to olive green, sometimes tinged with purple, oblong-ovate in outline, not gaping. Glumes membranous, with thinner margins, embracing the spikelet fairly tightly to 2/3 to 3/4 of its length, acute; the inferior 5-8·25 cm. long, 1-3-nerved, lanceolate, slightly asymmetric; the superior 6-10 mm. long, 3 (sometimes 5-)-nerved, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate. Lemmas 6-9·5 mm. long, narrowly elliptic to ovate-oblong, acute, subacute but usually tapering to an awn point up to 5 mm. long, dorsally scaberulous. Paleas with the keels scaberulous. Anthers 2-2·5 mm. long. Ovary glabrous or with the apex pilose.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: Growing in mountain grassland, in moist and often peaty soils
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Cameroun Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 348.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 42. As Festuca schimperiana

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 55 - 56. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 105.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 148.

Other sources of information about Festuca abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Festuca abyssinica
Flora of Malawi: Festuca abyssinica
Flora of Mozambique: Festuca abyssinica
Flora of Zambia: Festuca abyssinica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Festuca abyssinica
African Plant Database: Festuca abyssinica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Festuca abyssinica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Festuca abyssinica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Festuca abyssinica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Festuca abyssinica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Festuca abyssinica
JSTOR Plant Science: Festuca abyssinica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Festuca abyssinica
Plants of the World Online: Festuca abyssinica
Tropicos: Festuca abyssinica
Wikipedia: Festuca abyssinica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Festuca abyssinica.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103510, retrieved 16 April 2024

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