In: Phyton 54, Fasc. 2 (2014): S. 205-213 DOI: 10.12905/0380.phyton54(2)2014-0205
Key words: Festuca valesiaca, Gramineae, Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae. Wood lawn neophyte, Grassameneinkömmlinge, metallophytes. – Flora of Belgium.
Ronse A. C. & Arndt S. 2014. Past and present occurrence of Festuca valesiaca Schleich. ex Gaudin (Poaceae-Pooideae) in Belgium. – Phyton (Horn, Austria) 54(2): 205–213.
Festuca valesiaca Schleich. ex Gaudin subsp. valesiaca is a rare taxon in (sub)continental areas in Europe, whose distribution does not encompass Belgium according to most sources. However, there have been mentions of its occurrence as a metallophyte in the South of the country, but with contradictory views on the identity of the plants. In order to clarify this subject, old and more recent herbarium material of these sites was studied. It appears that this taxon has indeed been collected in this area, but only before 1830, while more recent material turns out to be F. guestphalica Boenn. ex Reichenb. as well as F. ovina L. We also report a newly found locality of Festuca valesiaca subsp. valesiaca in an old castle domain in the central part of the country. It must have been introduced there as a neophyte, and it is hypothesized that this species has either been introduced as wood lawn neophyte during the nineteenth century or as a garden escape from the botanical collections. Several arguments favour the first hypothesis, such as the fact that it occurs together with other wood lawn neophytes, and that the natural distribution of F. valesiaca coincides with that of the other species of wood lawn neophytes, in a small area in south-west Germany. This would mean that the species has subsisted in the Belgian locality for nearly 200 years.