Scientific Name: Vulpia myruros

Common Name: rattail fescue

Other Common Names: annual fescue

Habit: Grows in dense clumps with leaves arising from stem base (looks similar to fine fescue) can reach 1 to 2 feet in heighth

Leaves: Leaves can be up to 6 inches long and 0.5 to 1.5 mm wide. They are light green in color and typically completely hairless on upper and lower leaf surfaces and on the sheath, but they are also known for being slightly rough to the touch due short stiff hairs (sometimes)

Identifying Characteristics: This winter annual grass grows in dense clumps with narrow, long leaf blades that are typically smooth on both sides but can be rough. It has a long narrow panicle seedhead (spike-like or rattail-like)

Flower Seed Head: tight, slender panicle (spike-like) that is 2 to 10 inches long; they can be rough to the touch and are produced from May to June

Seed Fruit: seed are 4 to 5 mm long and rough to the touch with awns that are 8 to 25 mm

Where Found: Found mostly in the western United States but also in coastal states; can be found in lawns, roadsides, fields (pastures and crop fields), and waste places (wet or dry)

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round