tall fescue
Festuca arundinacea Schreb.


Tall fescue, also called Kentucky 31 fescue, is a rhizomatus, cool season grass that invades open areas throughout the United States. This tall grass (up to 6 ft. [1.8 m]) remains green in winter and spring. The moderately stout stem is unbranched with 1-3 swollen, light green nodes near the base. Leaves are mostly basal, flat, 4 to 18 in. (10.2-45.7 cm) long with whitish to yellow-green, flared collars. The midvein is not noticeable. Flowers occur in loose panicles that are 4-12 in. (10.2-30.5 cm) long. Tall fescue invades a variety of open habitats including fields, forest margins, roadsides, forest openings and savannas. It spreads mainly through rhizomes and can form extensive colonies that compete with and displace native vegetation. It is frequently infected with a endophytic fungus that can causes illness in livestock and some wild animals. Tall fescue is native to Europe and was first introduced into the United States in the early to mid 1800s. The ecotype, Kentucky 31, was discovered in the 1930s and widely planted for livestock forage. Tall fescue has been widely planted for turf, forage and erosion control.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Festuca
Subject: Festuca arundinacea Schreb.

Synonyms and Other Names

Related Scientific Names:
Lolium arundinaceum (Scop.) Holub (Synonym)
Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort. (Synonym)
Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub (Synonym)


Plants - Grass or Grasslike