Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tall Fescue
Festuca arundinacea

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Festuca (fes-TOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: arundinacea (a-run-din-uh-KEE-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Festuca arundinacea subsp. arundinacea
Synonym:Schedonorus phoenix
Synonym:Schedonorus arundinaceus
Synonym:Festuca elatior subsp. arundinacea
Synonym:Lolium arundinaceum

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No positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Clary On Jul 8, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Tall fescue has a wide coarse leaf that tends to brown at the cut end. The stem of the grass is significant in length and hard like a stick - like walking on sticks. The sheaf of this stick-stem is tough and fibrous and seems to linger around as thatch.

It's "tall" because it grows fast. If you don't mow it all the time the sticks grow longer until once you do mow you have only sticks, no leaves. It seems to grow almost twice as fast as Kentucky bluegrass.

The roots of this grass seem to be deep and fibrous. If finer turf grass stresses for any reason, the fescue takes over. We must have accidentally overseeded with this fescue or perhaps it was included in a grassseed mixture and we're trying to eradicate it. It's very hard to pull out by hand and we've needed a trowel to dig out the roots. Seems to spread out in a mat if unattended.

This grass is definitely tough and resists drought. Would be good in an public setting for a low-maintenance turf. However, it's an unattractive grass for the home lawn: the color is flat, the texture is coarse, and it's unpleasant to walk on.

Neutral frostweed On Jan 6, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tall Fescue Schedonorus phoenix is Naturalized in Texas and other States.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Renton, Washington

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