Tall fescue

Festuca arundinacea


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.


Tall fescue liguleShort, 2 mm, finely serrated










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.

Tall fescue ligule photo 1Tall fescue - ligule. © Blackthorn arable.
Tall fescue ligule photo 2Tall fescue - ligule. © Blackthron arable.
Tall fescue seedling (1)Tall fescue - seedling. © Blackthorn arable.
Tall fescue mature plantTall fescue - mature plant. © Blackthorn arable.