Vulpia octoflora (Walt.) Rydb.

Locations ofVulpia octoflora (Walt.) Rydb. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Vulpia octoflora (Walt.) Rydb.
Common Name
Six-weeks Fescue
Festuca octoflora Walt. var. octoflora; Festuca octoflora Walt. var. tenella (Willd.) Fern.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Festuca octoflora Walt. var. octoflora + Festuca octoflora Walt. var. tenella (Willd.) Fern.
Two varieties have been attributed to our area: var. octoflora and var. tenella (Willd.) Fern., formerly called var. glauca (Nutt.) Fern.; see Phytologia 90(3):414-415 (2008) for nomenclatural correction. Varietal maps are not available at this time, since very few herbarium specimens have been identified to subspecific level.

Our Vulpia spp. are sometimes included in Festuca, as by Flora of North America and Flora of Virginia. However, according to Darbyshire and Pavlick (in FNA 24), the taxonomy of Festuca is complex, problematic, and not yet definitive. The phylogenetic relationships between Vulpia, with thirty species world-wide, and various clades of the highly variable Festuca seem unresolved; and Lonord (in FNA 24) points out that Vulpia consists mostly of cleistogamous annuals with one anther per floret while Festuca consists of chasmogamous species with three anthers per floret. Moreover, Vulpia forms sterile hybrids with both Festuca and Lolium. Until greater clarity is attained by future studies, we here retain Vulpia based on the morphological evidence that it forms a distinctive evolutionary lineage.
Dry, sandy or rocky woodlands and barrens, thin soils around outcrops, fields, rocky pastures, roadsides, and barren waste ground; usually in thin, dry, compacted soils. Frequent in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont; infrequent in the mountains.
Native Status

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