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Weed Identification

tall fescue



Scientific Name

Schedonorus arundinaceus

Other Common Names:

alta fescue
course fescue
reed fescue

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Festuca arundinacea
Schedonorus phoenix
Festuca elatior
Festuca fenas
Festuca uechtritziana
Lolium arundinaceum


A clumping grass with fibrous root system. Clumps enlarge by tilling but this species reproduces by seed.


Leaves are fairly broad and rolled in the bud with short blunt auricles fringed with short hairs.

Identifying Characteristics

Many varieties of tall fescue are infected with an endophyte that can be toxic to livestock but allows the plant to be more tolerant to drought.

Flower Seed Head

Flowers early to midsummer and seed heads persist in to the fall. Seed head is a panicle.

Seed Fruit

The fruit a spikelet contains 3-8 lance shaped seeds that are 7 mm in length.

Life Cycle


Plant Type