Scientific Name: Schedonorus pratensis

Common Name: meadow fescue

Synonyms: 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.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • 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: branched spike

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round