Found in damp meadows and river banks. Cultivars are used in forage grass mixtures throughout Europe. Cultivars are also used in lawn seed mixtures in North America on account of its ability to tolerate warm summers and cool winters. It produces a coarse textured lawn the most notable of which is the South lawn in front of the White House (Washington).
Very tall, up to 200 cm, tufted perennial forming dense tussocks. Tillers large and foliage coarse. Distinguishable from meadow fescue which does not have hairy auricles. No rhizomes or stolons.
Auricles: Small and spreading minutely hairy.
Leaf blade: Green, flat, 3 – 12 mm wide, long and tapering to a fine point. Upper surface rough and ribbed. Lower surface smooth and shiny. Leaves are rolled in the bud rather than folded.