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Meadow fescue

Festuca pratensis

Leaf blade

Bright green, hairless, upper surface ribbed sometimes rough, up to 4 mm in width. Lower surface smooth and glossy. Leaf margins rough.

Meadow fescue auricles. © Blackthorn arable.

Meadow fescue ligule. © Blackthron arable.

Meadow fescue - seedling. © Blackthorn arable.

Meadow fescue - seedling. © Blackthorn arable.


Highly valued in grazing and hay fields throughout the UK and Europe and thrives in loamy and heavy moist soils. Abundant in wet meadows and old pastures.


Small, spreading and hairless.


Tall loosely tufted, tussock forming perennial reaching a height of up to 120 cm. Distinguished from tall fescue by hairless auricles. No rhizomes or stolons.

Spikelets are awnless, 5–14 flowered.


Very short, 1 mm, blunt.

Meadow fescue - mature. © Blackthorn arable.

Meadow fescue. © Blackthorn arable.