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Weed Identification

meadow fescue

Family

Poaceae

Scientific Name

Schedonorus pratensis

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Festuca elatior
Festuca pratensis
Lolium pratense

Habit

Meadow fescue is cool-season perennial bunchgrass that grows 1 to 4 ft tall.

Leaves

The lower and upper leaf blade surfaces are dull green or grayish blue. Leaf blades are 2-7mm wide and 10 to 25 cm long. The leaf blade is rough and sandpapery. The base of the leaf has a pair of whitened clasping auricles. The leaves and stems are hairless.

Identifying Characteristics

It has a short blunt ligule, 0-0.5mm. It is similar to tall fescue but differs by having minute hairs on the auricles.

Flower Seed Head

The seedhead is a spikelet that grows up to 12mm and is somewhat flattened. Seedheads are green to purplish. Flowering occurs during mid to late summer last 1-2 weeks. .

Seed Fruit

Seed shape is caryopsis and has a groove running the length of the seed. The length is 3-4mm.

Where Found

Found in prairies, meadows, woodland borders, lawns, pastures, ditches, waste areas, city parks, and river banks. It prefers full to partial sunlight, moist to dry conditions. It also survives regular mowing but prefers not to be mowed.

Leaf Hair on Upper Surface

no hairs

Leaf Arrangement

rolled in bud

Mature Leaf Width

6 to 15 mm

Stem

round

Seedhead

branched spike

Life Cycle

perennial

Auricle

present

Ligule

membrane

Ligule Length

less than 1 mm

Plant Type

Grass