This species prefers sandy soil and has been found in several places in open woodland and waste places.
FNA 2007, USDA, Field Guide to Forest & Mtn. Plants of N AZ 2009
Common Name: hard fescue Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Densely tufted perennial, semi-erect, stems 20-75 cm tall, with long, broad leaves and a contracted panicle. Vegetative: Blades folded together, 1 mm wide, with 3-7 distinct ribs; stems 20-75 cm, with sheaths closed less than 1/3 their length, usually glabrous; ligules < 1 mm. Inflorescence: Panicle 3-13 cm long, contracted, with 1-2 erect branches per node, lower branches with 2 or more spikelets; spikelets 5-9 mm long with 3-8 florets; glumes slightly shorter than upper florets, mostly smooth, 2-5 mm long; lemmas usually smooth on lower portion and scabrous distally, 4-5 mm long, with awns <1-2 mm long, usually shorter than half the length of the lemma; anthers 2-3 mm long; ovary apices glabrous. Ecology: Found in open forests, rocky slopes, roadsides, and disturbed areas at 2600-12,000 ft. (790-3700 m); flowers May-August. Distribution: California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and all states east except Arkansas and Florida. Notes: F. trachyphylla has been labeled incorrectly as other other species, such as F. ovina. F. ovina is similar to F. trachyphylla, but its leaves are longer and broader and have 1-3 indistinct ribs, and its sheaths are closed for half the length. F. trachyphylla has an extensive root system. Ethnobotany: Is used for soil stabilization and for plant cover in recreation areas. Etymology: Festuca is Latin for grass stalk or straw, while trachyphylla means rough-leaved. Editor: LKearsley, 2012
Much like no. 9 [Festuca ovina L.]; blades scabrid, 0.6-1.2 mm wide, (3)5(7)-ribbed, the sclerenchyma forming a continuous or interrupted band of uneven thickness; spikelets 7-10 mm, 4-8-fld, the lemmas 3.8-5.5 mm; anthers 2.5-3 mm; 2n=28, 42. Native of Europe, weedy and widely intr. in our range. (F. duriuscula and F. longifolia, both misapplied; F. brevipila)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.