Panarctic Flora


342204-08 The Festuca brachyphylla aggregate F. brachyphylla, F. brevissima, F. edlundiae, F. groenlandica, F. hyperborea

Geography: Circumpolar-alpine.

Notes: The taxa of the Festuca brachyphylla aggregate have very short anthers, mostly <1 mm, whereas the sometimes similar F. saximontana and F. lenensis groups and also F. ovina have anthers mostly >1.5 mm.

The diploid and morphologically distinct F. brevissima was until 1972 considered a Beringian race of F. ovina but has only rarely been confused with other species. The four other species were until recently considered collectively as F. brachyphylla or as an unresolved mixtum of F. brachyphylla and F. hyperborea. This was due to an original ambiguity in the concept of Holmen's F. hyperborea (Holmen 1952) and to three or four distinct species being forced in under only two names (see F. edlundiae and F. groenlandica below). Morphology suggests that the four polyploid species are related but distinct. Hybrids or transitional forms have not been reported. The diploid Beringian F. brevissima or a precursor may be one of the progenitors of the polyploids.

Higher Taxa