CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Festuca ligulata

Photographer:
Kathy Rice

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Festuca ligulata


Family: 
Poaceae  
Common Name: 
Guadalupe fescue
Author: 
Swallen
Growth Habit: 
Graminoid
CPC Number: 
1930

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Festuca ligulataenlarge
Photographer: Kathy Rice

Festuca ligulataenlarge
Photographer: Kathy Rice


Festuca ligulata is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kathleen C. Rice contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Festuca ligulata


Festuca ligulata is a loosely tufted perennial grass growing up to 32 inches in height (Hitchcock 1950, Gould 1975). The slender stems of this grass are roughly textured and curve upward from a rhizomatous base. Inflorescences are branched and droop delicately. Festuca inhabits rocky, steep sites in Texas and Mexico (Poole 1989).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Texas
State Range of  Festuca ligulata
Habitat
  Festuca ligualta is found at high elevations (ca. 6,000-7,000 ft) with cool climates, talus slopes with Juniperus flaccida, Quercus, Pinus, and Acer (Poole 1989).

Distribution
  The only known population of Festuca ligulata in the United States occurs in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park (Poole 1989). Two historical sites in Culverson County and the Guadalupe Mountains have been extirpated.

Number Left
  In the U.S. there is a single known population with less than 65 individuals (Polle 1989).
Two to three historical occurrences have been reported in Mexico, but the status of these sites is unknown.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
9/13/2007
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
C
 
1/19/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Mexico  
  Texas S1 2/20/1992  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Unknown.

Threats
  Festuca ligulata is a palatable forage grass and is subject to grazing pressure, particularly from domestic animals (Poole 1989).
Park recreational uses and maintenance may further stress remaining individuals (Poole 1989).

Current Research Summary
  Seeds of some Fescue species have been known to deteriorate rapidly in storage. An endosymbiotic fungus may invade the seeds of Festuca, although the exact nature of this interaction is unknown. Approximately 1500 seeds were collected in 1991, as summer rainfall and seed production were very high. Desert Botanical Garden is conducting studies related to germination and storage requirements of seeds, and seedling survival and ecology. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Current Management Summary
  Plants are being annually monitored by staff at Big Bend National Park (Moir 1980). Surveys are being done to locate new sites in areas where controlled burning is being considered.

Research Management Needs
  Additional surveys in the Chisos Mountains and in Mexico are needed. General knowledge of this species reproductive biology and ecology as well as habitat requirements would aid in conservation efforts.

Ex Situ Needs
 

References

Books (Single Authors)

Burgess, T.L.; Northington, D.K. 1979. Plants of the Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks; an annotated checklist. Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute Publication Number 107.

Correll, D.S.; Johnston, M.C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner: Texas Research Foundation. 1881p.

Gould, F.W. 1975. The grasses of Texas. College Station: Texas A & M Univ. Press. 653p.

Hitchcock, A.S.; Chase, A. 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. New York: Dover Publications.

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Powell, A.M. 1994. Grasses of the Trans-Pecos and adjacent areas. Austin: University of Texas Press. 377p.

Silveus, W.A. 1933. Texas grasses. San Antonio, TX: Privately published. 782p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

(2000). Center for Plant Conservation's National Living Collection--Profiles. Desert Botanical Garden. http://www.dbg.org/Collections/cpc.html. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). Botany: Investigator's Annual Reports. The National Park Service: Big Bend National Park. http://www.nps.gov/bibe/iar/botany.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Swallen, J.R. 1932. Five new grasses from Texas. American Journal of Botany. 19: 436-440.

Reports

Higgins, L.C. 1989. Guadalupe Mountains National Park threatened and endangered and exotic plant surveys. Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Hodgson, W.; Ecker, L.S. 1990. Research proposal for Castilleja elongata, Festuca ligulata, and Agave glomuliflora in Big Bend National Park. Letter to M. Fleming, Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Moir, W.H. 1980. Forest and woodland vegetation monitoring, Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Texas - baseline 1978. unpublished report to National Park Service, BIBE. p.51p. + photos + maps.

Poole, J.M. 1989. Status report on Festuca ligulata. Austin, TX: Texas Natural Heritage Program. p.23.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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