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How to Identify Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue, Schedonorus arundinaceus, is a non-native, cool season grass found in fields, disturbed habitats, and planted as a lawn grass. Tall Fescue is a bunchgrass that grows two to five feet tall. Its leaves are stiff and sharply angled at the collar to be held about 90 degrees away from the stem. It has a short membranous ligule and blunt auricles, those arm-like extensions of the leaf sheath.

Tall Fescue produces a panicle inflorescence with short branches, so sometimes it looks more like a spike. The spikelets themselves are oval-shaped with pointed tips.

This video is part of the Grasses at a Glance series by Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension. Explore the playlist. Read our blog, Grasses at a Glance.