FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Festuca vivipara, Viviparous Sheep's-Fescue

Festuca vivipara; the Viviparous Sheep's-Fescue is very common grass growing almost everywhere on Iceland. The leaves are small and thin (almost needle-like), about 5 to (at most) 10 cm tall. The inflorescences reach up to about 40 cm. Most stiking is its viviparous nature. The flowering stem has no leaves attached (the other very common viviparous grass on Iceland being Poa alpina = Alpine Meadow-grass has broader leaves both in the tuft as well as along the inflorescence stem). It grows in heatherlands, open stony grounds and other drier open vegetations on nutrient-poor soils of Iceland.
It is a member of the Grass family (Graminae, also known as Poaceae).

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A brief introduction to common Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
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Inflorescence laid bare on (white) rocks
More detailed view on inflorescence laid bare on moss-bed
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